February 29, 2016
MY TWO CENTS
How about an All-Canadian Division One league?
Chris Brandon Whitaker is a long-time soccer fans from Kingston, N.Y.
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
By Chris Brandon Whitaker
Special to BigAppleSoccer.com
In an effort to make Canada’s bid for the 2026 World Cup more viable, Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani has stated a goal of creating a new Division One league. If you’re like most soccer expansion enthusiasts in North America, this is exciting news.
The interesting twist is that the new league would not attempt to replace either the North American Soccer League or Major League Soccer in the Great North, but rather to create a top all-Canadian league. Much like the Welsh Premier League, the proposed Canadian Division One would co-exist alongside the top teams already in established leagues in their country.
In short, the Montreal Impact, Toronto FC, and the Vancouver Whitecaps would remain in MLS, and Edmonton FC and the Ottawa Fury would continue in the NASL.
Instead, the new league would seek to expand soccer clubs into the remaining cities with Canadian Football League teams, including Hamilton, Regina, Winnipeg, and Calgary. In addition, the CSA hinted there was interest for expansion teams in Halifax, Quebec City, Saskatoon, and Victoria as well.
Although an exciting development, it is hard to believe that a new league could succeed without participation from its three largest markets.
To remedy this problem, I propose that the USL teams affiliated with Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver should join the new all-Canadian Division One league. This would bring the number of teams up to eleven, create a 30-game season, and provide better representation in sports markets across the country.
As an MLS fan, how would you feel about the Canadian MLS clubs having their reserve teams in a different league than the USL?
As an NASL fan, are you leery that an all-Canadian league would lure Edmonton and Ottawa away?
As a USL fan, do you think the three Canadian teams would even be missed in the current explosion of expansion in the third division?
If you want to respond to this story or have an opinion of your own, send it to email.