With the finals closing out this upcoming weekend, eyes are already eagerly turned toward the idea of the CPL’s first expansion. Will there be one (or more) new teams for 2020? Are some being announced for 2021? Which regions are likely in, which remain on the outside?

Here’s a quick look at the latest hubbub around 11 potential expansion locations. If you’ve more details on any of this from what you consider to be legitimate sources, feel free to drop us a line as we keep our eyes open on expansion news.

Ottawa Fury FC: The only potential for 2020

Recent rumours have stated that Ottawa are considering a move to the CPL, but require their expansion fee to be at the 2019-founding-team level.

If true, and if the Fury are the only side that would be joining in the 2020 season, this would be a foolish offer for the league not to accept. Bury the hatchet, and bring Ottawa into the fold sooner rather than later.

I firmly believe that if there’s any expansion for 2020, it’s going to be the Fury. None of the other potential expansion sides have a stadium & team set to roll out, or they have already confirmed they won’t be a part of the league in 2020.

If this rumoured offer is for the 2021 season (or if there are other caveats similar to some of what was originally being offered by the CPL for 2019), that’ll be a hard no. All teams that enter in the same year should have the same fee, and all teams should have to follow the same roster rules.

Even with this latest rumour, there are some out there that “confirm” Ottawa in USL-C for 2020. So the chances of CPL having that all-important 8th team next year, feels unlikely at this point.

Fraser Valley (2021)

This one is almost a sure bet. The stadium (likely) won’t be ready for 2020, and we’ve heard Fraser Valley as a “done deal” a half-dozen times over the past summer.

Glass’ report has been repeated by Rollins and by a number of other people (some with legitimate connections), so we’re pretty comfortable going along with this assessment at this time, as opposed to the other 1/2 dozen prior occasions when they were “confirmed.”

Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge (2021?)

Wilfrid Laurier University’s proposed upgrade of its football stadium includes a winter bubble dome to allow for year-round use of the field. – City of Waterloo

KW United was once seen as a forerunner for a team in the region, but with the passage of time, the progress in K-W fell by the wayside, and it seemed there would be no CPL squad.

The latest push for a team in the region, from most rumours, no longer involves KW United & Barry MacLean. It is believed to be a separate ownership group, with a different vision that are behind the push.

Some believe the approval of seeking funds to for the expansion of the stadium at Wilfred Laurier University may, somehow, be connected to the launch of a CPL team. Indeed, some of the potential renovations would lend themselves well to hosting a professional side.

As with all rumours, take from it what you will. As you’ll see from Rollins’ tweet below, K-W is very much back on the table for expansion.

Laval (2021? 2022?)

Alex Bunbury had been very noisy about bringing a team to the Montreal-area, with Laval quickly becoming the front-runner for the area. Bunbury’s chatter began to include the possibility of a team in Quebec City as it evolved, and then he suddenly tweeted out about signing an NDA and everything went silent.

The (very rare) messages out of the Bunbury camp have stated that it takes time to build the team, investors & infrastructure, but he continues to work on the project. With no stadium in place, this is just another hurdle for a potential Laval side.

To complicate matters, Soccer Quebec released a report recently which pushed for a team in Quebec City first:

“Soccer Quebec doit faciliter la venue d’une equipe de la CPL au Quebec, de preference et dans un premier temps, dans la Ville de Quebec.”

Le Magazine Quebec Soccer, October 2019, Page 12

Duane Rollin’s tweets remain bullish on Laval, but with the support of Soccer Quebec, Bunbury’s preference may not be as far along as we believe.

Quebec City (2021? 2022?)

As noted above, Soccer Quebec would prefer the first CPL team to be in Quebec City. Bunbury’s chatter had morphed to include potential investors in the capital, but other than that, the city has been pretty quiet.

That is, until the article in Le Magazine Quebec Soccer, which, in addition to mentioning Quebec City as the Soccer Quebec’s preference, talks of a group of investors already on the go.

Regardless, we’ll likely see one of Laval or Quebec City for 2021, and, if prevailing rumours are to be believed, don’t be overly surprised to see the other follow a year or two down the line.

Saskatoon (2022)

Saskatoon has been approaching a potential new side very cautiously. This past summer’s Saskatchewan Selects series was a great dry-run, and they’ve announced a 2nd year with more matches against higher quality competition.

A good Saskatchewan Summer Series in 2020 should be enough to show that Saskatoon would support a team, and the theoretically could be good to go for 2021. The catch here is the stadium, and that seems to be pushing Saskatoon rumours toward a 2022 start.

Mississauga (earliest 2022)

In Mississauga, the results of a feasibility study are expected out sometime this month. The study will determine just how feasible the construction of a stadium is for this city, and those results will definitely have an affect on whether Mississauga can look forward to a team.

By the time any environmental studies, construction, and vetting of investors is complete, we’d be looking at a 2022 launch at the absolute earliest. Based on what is currently known, Mississauga will more likely be waiting until 2023 or 2024.

New Brunswick (Moncton? Saint John?)

The New Brunswick Soccer Association has come out saying they want a CPL team. There’s a stadium in Moncton that would serve as a (large) stadium for a squad.

Saint John has also been fielded as a potential location, providing a little more distance from Halifax. There’s no stadium in Saint John that would be particularly suitable, so I’m willing to toss those rumours aside for the time being.

As far as we know, there is no ownership group seeking to field a team. The proximity to Halifax both hurts and helps the chances of a team launching in the area. At the moment, it appears as though it is hurting more than helping, but it remains to be seen what may happen in a year or two.

Newfoundland (St. John’s?)

Another East Coast city that occasionally is mulled by the rumour mill is St.John’s. There doesn’t seem to be much to these rumours (yet), but it’s still a location worth keeping an eye on.

Durham Region (?)

This area has been suggested on a number of occasions, but if there’s any movement in the area, it’s still in the early stages.

Potential expansion into this area is going to be very dependent on the success of York9 FC and (possibly) Mississauga. If York can demonstrate that it’s possible to unite a region behind a team, if both York & Mississauga can grow their audience despite their proximity to each other and TFC, then Durham may be a possible market.

Whether this is an upgraded Durham United (L1O), or an altogether new team, remains to be seen. As stated, this discussion is likely in its early stages.

Sudbury or Thunder Bay, Ontario (2026 – In my dreams)

I was recently alerted to the rumour of there being some positive momentum in Sudbury when a reporter at the CBC asked if I knew of any positive momentum in Sudbury. With Sudbury in the process of building not one, but two soccer domes (although one is delayed), he can certainly be forgiven for thinking there might be a connection to a larger outfit.

Thunder Bay has been tossed around as well, with some believing Thunder Bay Chill (USL-2) have more money & ambition than one might expect, and that the disabling of their USL-2 link on their website has a “greater meaning.” Last night, the city of Thunder Bay approved $1.5M toward studying the construction of a new indoor soccer field, which may also be contributing to these rumours.

Sadly, there does not appear to be any likelihood of a team locating in Northern Ontario at this time. Or, at least, not in Sudbury (I have very few contacts in Thunder Bay who could provide any additional details).

Ground support for the endeavour in Sudbury is lukewarm at best, and that’s only if no public land or money are involved. If either of those are mentioned, the reaction quickly flips to anywhere between hostile and violent (please wear appropriate safety gear).

With some luck, and perhaps a victory for the city at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (for the Kingsway Entertainment District in Sudbury), we may start to see some interest grow, especially if the project is expanded to include a stadium in addition to the arena, casino & hotel. But it’s far too early for any real talk of a team in the area.


It’s mostly rumours at this point in time. Although some are far more likely (Fraser Valley, Laval), some are pretty far from the starting line (Durham, Sudbury, Thunder Bay).

If/When we hear more, you can be sure we’ll have another rumour round-up to help keep us all on the same page.

error: Content is protected !!