The USL-2 and PCSL seasons & post-seasons have now come to a close. We’re also onto the Canadian Championship Semi-finals, and CONCACAF League action kicks off this evening. Action continues in many other leagues across the country, and we’ve the latest on the movers & shakers.
Top by League & Biggest Movers
Buoyed by a big win over Vancouver Whitecaps, Cavalry have further cemented their place at the top. The top rated clubs on the CSA-side remain the same, with the noted addition of FC Winnipeg Lions of the Manitoba Major Soccer League (see below). Both Vaughan Azzurri and AS Blainville dipped slightly when compared to July, but they remain comfortably at the top of their leagues (for now).
The Winnipeg Lions have basically run the MMSL since long before Spring 2017 (where our ratings start), and there doesn’t look to be any end in sight. The cumulative gains has pushed them extremely high in the ratings, but it’s important to remember these ratings are “against the competition faced” and thus, not truly comparable for CSA Division 4 sides.
On the USSF-sanctioned side of the equation, Montreal Impact managed to hold onto their top position, although their ratings have dipped below the MLS average (1400). TFC II also experienced a dip in the ratings, dropping from 1110.100 to 1090.606 over the course of the month.
Cavalry gained the most, largely due to their ongoing chain of victory. Edmonton Green & Gold of the AMSL actually had the 2nd largest gain, going undefeated throughout July. Forge were 3rd with a gain of 17.499.
HFX Wanderers have crashed their way through July, dropping a shocking 83.845 points over the course of the month. Whitecaps, with a series of losses in league and at the Canadian Championship, dropped 65.035. TFC II suffered the 3rd largest drop, shedding 19.494 points after last night’s brutal beating at home against Lansing.
I took a pretty extensive look at the Voyageur’s Cup results in my recent article on the CPL path to 2020 CCL update.
If you happened to miss it, Fury squeaked by HFX Wanderers as the 2nd leg ended in a draw, allowing their 3-2 victory from the first leg to carry them forward to meet the reigning champions, Toronto FC, in the semi-finals. Barring a collapse by TFC, the USL-side will be wrapping up its run on August 14th.
York9 and Montreal impact were deadlocked, 2-2, at the end of their first leg. If the 2nd match had gone scoreless, the away goals rule would have given Montreal their ticket to the semi-finals. Instead, Montreal earned it on a penalty, taking the match 1-0 over the York.
Finally, Cavalry FC played David to the Vancouver Whitecaps’ Goliath, and toppled the MLS-side 2-1 in the 2nd leg. As a result, this will be the 1st Canadian Championship semi-final without 3 MLS sides in the history of the bracketed competition.
Montreal host Cavalry and Ottawa host TFC for the first legs on August 7th. We’ll know our finalists on August 14th.
So far, 3 matches have occurred, with some movement among the teams in the preliminary round. Saprissa (CRC3), Real Esteli (NCA2) and Robinhood (CCC4) are all up, while their opponents, Santa Tecla (SLV2), AS Capoise (CCC3), and Belmopan Bandits (BLZ1) are all down.
Forge FC host Antigua FC (GUA2) tonight (August 1st) in Hamilton. This will be Forge’s 1st ever match on the International stage. I’m hopeful they can manage a result against Antigua at home. Once Forge travel to Central America, fighting through the heat will get a lot harder and we’re more likely to see the team struggle.
The 2nd leg will be in Guatemala on August 8th, and if Forge move past the qualifying round, they’ll meet Olimpia (HON2) in the Round of 16 in the 2nd half of the month.
Be sure to review our CPL Path to 2020 CCL article updates for more details.
Other Canadian Leagues
Manitoba Major Soccer League (MMSL)
I’ve received numerous requests to add the MMSL’s Outdoor Premier Division to my ratings. As the top league in Manitoba, the mark an “equivalent” of sorts to the PCSL and the AMSL.
As a result, I’ve dug back 3-years of data, calculating in all matches from Spring 2017 to present. Given the quality of this league, I’ve given them the same starting points as the PCSL & AMSL: 800. Additionally, as a league operating with a single-table and no playoffs, each match calculates with a weight of 7.5 (much like the AMSL).
Also like the AMSL, the MMSL has promotion & relegation, with the top 2 Division 1 teams replacing the bottom 2 Premier Division teams annually. There was a “glitch” this past season, and the Premier Division actually shrunk by a team, but I’m sure it’ll be resolved for 2020.
As noted with the addition of the AMSL, if a team is relegated their ratings will be frozen until they are promoted back into the MMSL’s Premier Division. The team will no longer appear in the ratings chart (as they are no longer in one of the listed leagues), but their score continues to exist in the back end.
As you may recall, in other leagues, when a team drops, their score disappears and any reemergence of the team is a reset to the score.
I have noticed the MMSL, AMSL, and PCSL tend to be a little tardy in publishing their scores, so there may be matches missing from individual ratings.
I looked into adding Saskatchewan to the ratings as well. However, their top “league”, the Saskatchewan Provincial Soccer League, has a U-17 division as their top league. Additionally, their representative to the Challenge Cup comes from an “open” tournament, which seems to involve 3 teams over 1 weekend.
Sadly, this won’t be enough to add the province’s amateur sides to the ratings.
So far, there is no official update on BC League1. However, the possibility that this league’s launch may be postponed to 2021 has been raised.
Which also begs the question, what happens to PCSL if BCL1 starts. Can both leagues be sustained or rolled in together? Lots still to be answered regarding 2020 and beyond but we are all ears ?— Mark deFrias (@markdefrias) July 24, 2019
We know from the above that there will be a meeting concerning the league in August, and that the USL-2 sides have not ruled it out. We also know there are concerns about what this league may do to the PCSL.
Hopefully there will be more news in August.
Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI
As I work my way East, the top-most “summer” league in any non-D3 province can be added to my rankings if they meet the following requirements:
- League has its own logo & website
- Scores for all matches are available back to Spring 2017
- Scores & schedules are promptly posted on their website
- League & Playoff format is publicly available
- Quality of play must be comparable to MMSL, AMSL, PCSL.
If you know a league that meets these requirements, send us an email with their info. I may not get the chance to add the teams to the rankings in 2019, but I will aim to have them all set to go for the 2020 season.
Other American Leagues
NPSL Members Cup
You may recall the Founders Cup. It’s gone.
In its place, the NPSL will be running a Members Cup, which will involve NPSL teams. As this will not be a new league, I’ve removed the league from my back end.
Instead, this will be treated as a cup tournament within the NPSL, much like the L1O/PLSQ Cups.
This cup competition appears to be based on points and seems to lack playoffs. Punching that information into my match weight calculator comes up with a 20, so we’ll roll with that until better information is available.
NISA has finally announced their Fall 2019 teams & the format of the “NISA Showcase”. It appears there will be 8 teams in 2 conferences playing an unbalanced schedule, with a single match (San Diego 1904 vs Miami FC) across conferences. Oakville Roots only sees 5 matches, NISA LA & Stumptown Athletic play 6, while everyone else manage 7.
There are also a number of “Exhibition Matches” involving 2-teams that are not part of NISA (Detroit City FC & Chattanooga FC). These teams are rumoured to be joining the league for Spring 2020.
At the end of the regular season, the top 2 teams (by average points per game?) in the Eastern Conference play each other to determine the Eastern Champion, and the top 2 in the West play each other to determine the Western Champion. The East Champ & West Champ both qualify for the Spring 2020 Playoffs (format to be announced).
|NISA East/West Championships
|NISA Supercup Playoffs
|NISA Supercup Final
As these are either new teams, or teams that moved leagues to a new division, starting points are all reset to 1100.000, the base standard for a D3 league. We’ll let results in the Open Cup “correct” that number next Spring.
As for match weighting, this was a little trickier because their competition format seems to involve three distinct sets of “playoffs”: Fall East & West Championships, Spring East & West Championships (presumably), plus playoffs between the two sets of champions (to occur in the Spring).
I’ve chosen to treat the “Championships” like a single-match Cup Final. And thus, the Supercup (if we were to call it that), would be the actual post-season. At the moment, there’s nothing to indicate these would be 2-legged or round-robin playoffs, so we’ll work from this for now.
Continental Premier League
This league starts in September 2019 apparently. There is no information on this league. Probably just smoke, but we’ll know by month’s end.
July was another huge month in Canadian Soccer. The top competitions are far from over, and there’s plenty more to enjoy as the summer unfolds. Here’s where 69-teams rank, based upon data from Spring 2017 through July 31, 2019:
We continue to have weekly updates for our $1+ Patreons, and will return with our big monthly update in September. Until then, let’s go enjoy some soccer.