The CPL Spring season has come to a close. We’ve seen ups and downs from all the teams in the league, giving us a pretty good indication of where they sit in relation to each other. As we move forward, we’ll finally get to see how one CPL Team faces up against one USL Team, and how two CPL Teams fare against two MLS teams. It will be interesting to see what happens, but first, let’s see how June rounded out.
Top by League & Biggest Movers
Despite seeing an end to their unbeaten streak, Cavalry FC remain top of the CPL. In fact, the top rated clubs on the CSA-side remain the same, with the noted addition of Edmonton Green & Gold of the Alberta Major Soccer League (see below). Khalsa Sporting Club is the only “top” team to start July with less points than they started June, having dropped over 9 points in league action.
On the USSF-sanctioned side of the equation, there is no change in top positions. Montreal are down a couple points, Ottawa up by 10, TFC II up by 2, and Foothills have dropped 17 points.
HFX Wanderers FC are gained the most points in the elo ratings, having moved up by 57.354. FC Edmonton, thanks to their Canada Day victory, increased their share by 28.382. AMSL’s Cavalry FC U20 gained 22.451, marking the 3rd largest growth.
Valour has had the largest drop, shedding over 100 points since the beginning of June. This is definitely of great concern to the club, and we expect some major changes during the (brief) break between season. PLSQ’s FC Gatineau dropped over 30 points, slipping into 37th place. TSS FC Rovers of the USL-2 are also struggling, having dropped over 29 points this past month, slipping down to 22nd.
With the field of CPL sides now whittled down to 3, the real competition can begin.
HFX Wanderers are set to face off against Ottawa Fury FC, in a match many are billing as a test of whether CPL is equivalent to USL-C. As many will recall, there was a hoopla last summer as CONCACAF delayed their sanctioning in USL-C until the very last minute. Sanctioning was never pulled, as it needs to be granted annually due to “exceptional circumstances.” Although two matches against a single club are not a really good measure between the two leagues, this will still be front of mind and used as ammunition by either side if CONCACAF delays sanctioning once again.
York9 FC have advanced to face off against Montreal Impact. No offense to Y9, but this will be a walk in the park for the MLS side.
Top-of-the-league Cavalry FC will be facing Vancouver Whitecaps. Although we don’t anticipate a CPL victory over an MLS squad (we actually expect these match ups to “correct” the ratings), if any CPL team can do it this year, it’s Cavalry. That said, Marc Dos Santos is known for putting up strong teams in the Voyageur’s Cup, so this should be a heck of a challenge.
We laid out how the starting ratings and match weights for the CONCACAF League would work back in March, but it’s been a while & we’re ready to lock in the numbers.
Basically, as a number of clubs are carrying over their scored from the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League, and as Forge FC will be carrying up its score from the CPL Spring Season, we can find determine a weight per CONCACAF point, and expand that to determine the weighting of individual teams.
As a result of punching everything through, we get the starting points seen here. Forge FC will move around a fair bit, as they will continue to be affected by the CPL Fall Season, but everyone else will only move as their matches occur in the CONCACAF League.
Forge FC will have a home-and-home preliminary series against Antigua FC, with the first match kicking off on July 30th.
Alberta Major Soccer League (AMSL)
I’ve received numerous requests to add the AMSL to my ratings. As the top league in Alberta, whose teams regularly go the distance in the race for the Challenge Trophy, I’ve finally decided to do so.
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: 800. Additionally, as a league operating with a single-table and no playoffs, each match calculates with a weight of 7.5 (which makes this a simpler add than I originally expected).
Unlike the other leagues, the AMSL does have a form of promotion & relegation, with “challenges” being permitted by 1 North & 1 South lower-league team per year.
As a result, there’s a slight tweak to how I’ll be doing the ratings: if a team is challenged out (like Edmonton Victoria were following 2018), their ratings will be frozen until they win a challenge back in. 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.
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 AMSL (much like the PCSL) tends to be a little tardy in publishing their scores, so there may be matches missing from individual ratings.
League 1 BC
BC Soccer is once again trying to kick around the idea of their own Division 3 League. As the PCSL was being tracked as they were the closest thing to a Div 3 in BC, the launch of L1BC will effectively remove them from the rankings (unless some sort of pro/rel is put in place).
There really isn’t too much additional information on L1BC, besides what was initially released by BC Soccer. This attempt to launch a Division 3 league follows up on their previous proposal in 2017, which was very poorly received by the USL-2 teams.
According to the latest release, both TSS and Highlanders are much more favourable to the new structure, but how this will all play out remains to be seen.
There is a tonne of fluctuation in terms of the American Leagues that may potentially affect future rankings. With the Founders Cup (FC) floundering, National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) growing (but keeping its secrets), and the mysterious launch of the “Continental Premier League” (CoPL), I’m uncertain how/when these leagues may interact with these ratings.
For now, all we can really do is sit back and wait for more information. With the exception of NPSL & FC, non-D3 leagues without Canadian teams will not be tracked, so we likely won’t have to worry about CoPL, but information is still very thin for a league launching in 2-months.
For Canadian Leagues, 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 OPDL, 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.
July was a huge month in Canadian Soccer. The competition is far from over, and there’s plenty more to enjoy as the summer months stretch along. Here’s where 60-teams rank, based upon data from Spring 2017 through Canada Day 2019:
We continue to have weekly updates for our $1+ Patreons, and will return with our big monthly update in August. Until then, let’s go enjoy some soccer.