The Canadian Premier League is only 1-year old, and L1BC won’t launch until 2021. Even with these new leagues, there’s already talk of a Canadian Division 2. With the Division 2 League not directly affiliated with the CPL, things are even more interesting. Scroll down for the latest!

Who’s In

Updated 8 Nov

Hamilton United Elite – A women’s team joined L1O last year, and publicly expressed interest in launching a men’s team the following year, especially as they also had a men’s team in the L1O Reserve league. True to their word, Hamilton United Elite officially will have a Men’s team in League1 Ontario in 2020.

North Toronto Nitros – The Nitros were part of L1O from 2016-2017, but dropped out in 2018. The return of the club is definitely welcome, as they performed above the league average at the time (906.655 on the 2017 elo ratings).

Who’s Out

USL Championship logo

Updated 13 Dec

Citing sanctioning issues, Ottawa Fury have suspended operations indefinitely.

Orinally leaked by The Athletic, and later confirmed by USL-C, OSEG has sold their USL-C franchise rights to “The Miami FC”.

While some may theorize this will provide seed money of a CPL launch, we believe a resurrection of the club in Canada for 2021, under OSEG, to be unlikely.

Celtix de Haut-Richelieu – This team was originally announced in 2016. We waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, they’ve re-announced Celtix as joining the PLSQ for 2019.

FC Gatineau – Stepped down to the Ottawa-Carleton Soccer League, first reported by Just e-Soccer on October 28th. PLSQ confirmed the departure November 7th.

Dynamo de Quebec – It appears negotiations did not end favourably for Dynamo de Quebec, as the PLSQ announced their departure from the league on November 7th. As a result, all of the league’s teams are now in or around Montreal.

Victoria Highlanders FC – The departure of Highlanders FC from USL2 has been confirmed.

Despite folding their USL2 franchise, the Highlanders will continue to field a team in the Pacific Coast Soccer League in 2020. This was confirmed by the PCSL on December 8th.

Furthermore, Highlanders have confirmed their intention to participate in L1BC when it officially launches.

Rumoured Changes

Updated: 2 Jan 2020

There are four groups right now that we are really excited about; I’ll say the West Coast, the middle of the Prairies, in (Quebec) and Ontario-based.

CPL Commissioner David Clanachan, December 23rd

CPL Quebec – With a stadium deal achieved, we expect Quebec City in 2021. Recent interviews with the President of Quebec Soccer indicate an expansion fee of $9 million may be a stumbling block.

Update (2 Jan): More recent rumours are starting to claim that a team in Quebec is ready to be announced for 2021. Whether that team is in Quebec City or elsewhere is not as clear, however, it is very encouraging.

Rumour Strength: Strong

Fraser Valley (Updated 2 Jan) – Although previously considered a lock for 2021, with play to occur at a new field located at the Langley Event Centre, recent rumours are starting to circulate that a team in the Fraser Valley is further off than anticipated, with some “sources” claiming 2022 a more likely target.

Rumour Strength: Moderate

Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge (Updated 2 Jan) – Rumours surrounding a team in this area have been heating up lately, with recent claims placing K-W & (somewhere in) Quebec as being “ready to announce” for a 2021.

Thanks to John Jacques at Northern Tribune, we know for certain that Stuart Neely, the former coach of KW United & current Manager of Coach Education at Canada Soccer, is not connected to the new club.

Rumour Strength: Strong

CPL Laval – Despite surfacing on AFC Curtis, Bunbury remains relatively tight lipped on progress in Laval. Expansion expectations are pushed to 2022. As noted, the expansion fee is an additional road block for teams in Quebec.

Update (2 Jan): More recent rumours are starting to claim that a team in Quebec is ready to be announced for 2021. Whether that team is in Laval or elsewhere is not as clear, however, it is very encouraging.

Rumour Stength: Moderate

Saskatoon (Updated 8 Nov)– Latest rumours indicate Belan is targeting a 2022 launch.

Rumour Strength: Moderate

Ottawa – Clanachan has repeatedly mentioned that he had been speaking with investors in Ottawa about launching a team, but the presence of Fury FC has been a roadblock until now. With Fury FC closing up shop, an opening has been created. Despite this alteration, it appears unlikely at this point that a team would be able to launch prior to 2022.

Update (2 Jan):

Supposedly, a foreign ownership group is interested in setting up a team in Ottawa. Not much substance to this rumour, however, there’s also talk that Landon Donovan is connected to the foreign ownership group, although “not as strongly as many may think”. This suggests it may be in an advisory capacity, and not actual ownership capacity, if there’s any truth to it at all.

Rumour Strength: Weak

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Royal Beauport - LSEQ AAA, moving to PLSQ in 2021?

Updated: 2 Jan 2020

Royal Beauport – According to justesoccer, Samir Ghrib, the head coach of Royal Beauport, claims the team is planning a move up to PLSQ in 2021. The move is being timed to, hopefully, coincide with obtaining the club obtaining the Canada Soccer National License.

Rumour Strength: Strong

Updated: 13 Dec 2019

At the beginning of summer, BC provided an update on their plans for L1BC. Many expect there will be a Voyaguer’s Cup spot for the league champion, although there is no public “guarantee” at this time.

The Highlanders have officially issued their release, which confirms they have dropped from USL2 and will be applying in January 2020 to participate in L1BC in 2021.

TSS FC Rovers should follow suit next year, but we continue to await word on other likely/potential teams.

Rumour Strength: High

Canadian Division 2

Updated: 2 Jan 2020

Recently a rumour has begun to circulate about the formation of a Canadian Division 2 league. Details are scarce, however, the Canadian USL2 clubs and the SK Soccer Series folks appear to be largely behind the discussion.

Expand for full thread. Lots of little details & supposition from off-shoot discussions.

Some of the main points:

  • Season running May to August
  • National league, regionally based
  • Main interest from:
    • Highlanders FC
    • TSS FC Rovers
    • Calgary Foothills FC
    • Saskatchewan Soccer Series
    • Someone in Edmonton
    • Someone in Kelowna
    • Some groups in “Eastern Canada”

Everything else about this Division 2 league from the rumour (MSL2, Fury, etc) appears to be pure speculation, as Fudge (& others) build upon the initial idea.

Despite the CPL’s repeated talk of promotion and relegation with a future Division 2 league, this particular league is not a CPL/CSB product.

According to Rollins & Salisbury, talks about the Canadian Division 2 league have been happening since mid-summer. Discussions indicate the D2 league is more like a CPL proving-ground building off the Saskatchewan Soccer Series than a proper league of its own.

Rumours place the expanded Saskatchewan Soccer Series for 2020, with something more formal for 2021. As Highlanders have discussed plans to participate in the SSS this upcoming summer, this does appear to provide additional strength to (at least this portion) of the rumour.

Kevin Laramée, of Soccer Today, interviewed Simon Fudge seeking additional information. It provides a lot of great background, but little new information. Watch it below:

Rumour strength: Moderate

Challenge Cup Divisions

The BC Leagues (VISL, VMSL, FVSL) are currently in progress for the 2019-2020 season.

Many leagues in the Challenge Cup Divisions have promotion & relegation.


LSEQSt-Hubert and CS Fabrose both finished at the top of Men’s B, and should be promoted, however, actual promotion has not been confirmed.

MMSLFC Northwest and CCS Sweatshack both finished at the top of Division 1, and should be promoted, however, actual promotion has not been confirmed.


LSEQFS Salaberry and Brossard both finished at the bottom of Men’s A, and should be relegated, however, actual relegation has not been confirmed.

MMSLWorld Soccer Academy and Forza-WSP both finished bottom of the Premier Division, and should be relegated, however actual relegation has not been confirmed.

No Change

AMSLCalgary Villains Elite FC successfully defended Calgary Rangers Sportif FC‘s challenge.

For reference, Challenge Cup Divisions include:

  • New Brunswick Premier Soccer League
  • Nova Scotia Soccer League
  • Newfoundland & Labrador Challenge Trophy
  • Ligue de Soccer du Quebec (Pro/Rel)
  • Ontario Open Cup
  • Manitoba Major Soccer League (Pro/Rel)
  • Saskatchewan Open Cup
  • Alberta Major Soccer League (Pro/Rel)
  • BC Provincial Cup
    • Fraser Valley Soccer League, Premier Division (Pro/Rel)
    • Vancouver Island Soccer League, Division 1 (Pro/Rel)
    • Vancouver Metro Soccer League, Premier Division (Pro/Rel)
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