August was a very busy month, with many of the largest (and smallest) competitions coming to a close for Canadian teams. With the Voyageur’s Cup and the CONCACAF League wrapped up, teams are now free to focus completely on league play, which in most cases includes turning attention toward upcoming (or already underway) playoffs.
Top by League & Biggest Movers
Due to a demolition of Valour FC, Cavalry retain their place at the top of the CPL, but drop to 3rd overall. The top rated CSA clubs remain much the same, with the noted additions of WHFC Durty Nelly’s of the Nova Scotia Soccer League, and Holy Cross of Newfoundland & Labrador’s Challenge Trophy (see below).
Vaughan Azzurri lost a few points and AS Blainville regained theirs, trimming the gap between the two sides to 13 points. With Blainville’s win this past season, they’ve clinched 1st place and qualified for the 2020 Voyaguer’s Cup competition.
On the USSF-sanctioned side of the equation, Toronto FC have retaken the top position (both within the MLS & overall) while showing some remarkable gains. TFC II continue to drop, plummeting from 1090.606 to 1074.738 over the course of the month. This now puts TFC within 15 points of League1 Ontario’s Vaughan Azzurri.
Toronto FC have managed the largest gain this month, growing by 36.303. This is followed by a resurgent Pacific FC, who gained 29.234 and PLSQ’s CS Fabrose who climbed 15.379 points as they rise into 33rd.
On the other side of the equation, Cavalry FC have tumbled by 58.372 points, primarily due to their defeats at the hands of Montreal Impact. York9 FC have also struggled greatly this month, dropping 54.397 points. Ottawa Fury FC, who have generally had a strong season, have shed 39.311 points despite being pummeled by TFC in the Voyaguer’s Cup.
As mentioned in the mid-August CPL Path to 2020 CCL update, the Voyageur’s Cup is now down to 2 sides, and both of them are in the MLS.
Although Fury were swiftly knocked aside, 5-0, by Toronto FC this year, the other side of the bracket was a lot closer.
Ultimately, Impact won both legs against Cavalry FC by a 1-goal in either game. The 3-1 victory was enough to not only help the Impact make the finals, it also served to help “correct” the CPL’s starting ratings.
No matter how you look at it, the CPL performed very well through this year’s competition. Every match beyond Cavalry’s defeat of the Whitecaps was a bonus for the new league.
With the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League qualification on the line, the Montreal-Toronto finals should to be thrilling.
Of course, this all depends on how much either team prioritizes this competition. With the MLS Playoffs approaching while both teams remain on the bubble, we don’t really know which competition will be the priority. Additionally, with how badly TFC was demolished in the CCL last year, and its resulting effects on their MLS season, they may be inclined to play a highly rotated squad.
It really all depends on where the two teams stand by September 18th. We’ll just have to wait and see how it all shakes out.
So far, the preliminaries and the round of 16 have concluded, reducing the field to just 8 sides. 6 of the remaining teams will qualify to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Forge FC is exited with the 5th highest rating, after a (not unexpected) stomping in Honduras by Olimpia. Their departure from the tournament ends the CPL’s chances of qualifying for the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League, but they’ve made a great debut.
Other Canadian Leagues
Nova Scotia & Newfoundland Leagues
The Nova Scotia Soccer League (NSSL) and Newfoundland & Labrador’s Challenge Trophy (NLCT) are the latest leagues to be added to the ratings. NLCT doesn’t seem to have a league logo, so I’ve used the association’s logo as a placeholder for the time being.
It took some digging, including use of the Wayback Machine, but I was able to retrieve results going back to the 2017 season. As a result, I’m happy to be able to include these leagues moving forward.
Both the NSSL & NLCT have very similar formats. At the conclusion of the regular season, 4 teams advance to compete in “Page Playoffs”, which culminate in a single-game final.
For those unaware, here’s how Page Playoffs work:
- Match A: 1st Place vs 2nd Place
- Match B: 3rd Place vs 4th Place
- Match C: Loser Match A vs Winner Match B
- Final: Winner Match A vs Winner Match C
This format is commonly used in curling, but can also be found in Australian Soccer. So, although not exactly commonplace, it isn’t completely alien to most Canadians.
Unlike MMLS & AMSL, there is no promotion & relegation in the NSSL & NLCT. As a result, if a team drops out after a year, they’re wiped from the records and the league’s average will vary as a result.
Much like other Canadian Div-4 leagues, there is some delay (and occasionally sleuthing is required in order to obtain) scores from these leagues. This won’t really matter too much in 2019 (as play wrapped up over Labour Day weekend), but may result in some delays as we continue tracking in 2020.
New Brunswick & PEI
It appears the New Brunswick Premier League would be the equivalent league for New Brunswick & PEI.
Unfortunately, I’ve only been able to find data for the latest season (2019).
I have sent out e-mails to the league to see if I can obtain schedules & scores for 2017 & 2018. If not, these provinces may join Saskatchewan as being unable to rate.
Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut
The last area of the country I’ll need to research are the territories. I’m not sure what I’ll find up there (if anything), but I would be remiss if I didn’t at least look.
As you may recall, we have some basic 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.
Although we’re starting to see some leagues tie things up, there’s plenty more soccer to come. The top competitions are far from over, and there’s plenty more to enjoy as we move into the fall. Here’s where 81-teams rank, based upon data from Spring 2017 through September 2, 2019:
We continue to have weekly updates for our $1+ Patreons, and will return with our big monthly update in October. Until then, let’s go enjoy some soccer.