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Canadian Soccer Association

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Canadian Soccer Association
Short nameCSA
FoundedMay 1912; 112 years ago (1912-05)
Headquarters237 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario
FIFA affiliation1912–1926;
CONCACAF affiliationSeptember 18, 1961
(original member)[1]
PresidentCharmaine Crooks
General SecretaryKevin Blue
Websitewww.canadasoccer.com Edit this at Wikidata

The Canadian Soccer Association (French: Association canadienne de soccer; branded as Canada Soccer) is the governing body for soccer in Canada. Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, the federation is a full member of FIFA and governs Canadian soccer at the international, professional, and amateur levels, including: the men's and women's national teams, Canadian Premier League, youth organizations, beach soccer, futsal, Paralympic and deaf national teams. The Canadian Soccer Association also administers and operates the Canadian Championship.


Place Soccer Canada in Downtown Ottawa is the headquarters of the Canadian Soccer Association

The Dominion of Canada Football Association, today known as the Canadian Soccer Association, was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba in July 1912.[2][3] The organization joined FIFA on December 31, 1912. On June 21, 1926, the DCFA resigned from FIFA, only to rejoin on June 20, 1948. The governing body of the game retained that name until it was changed to The Football Association of Canada on June 6, 1952. The association later changed its name to the Canadian Soccer Football Association in 1958 and then at last to the Canadian Soccer Association in 1971.

Canada Soccer has hosted several global soccer tournaments, including the 1976 Olympic football tournament, the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, and will co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup along with Mexico and United States. The association has also hosted the FIFA U-20 World Cup (2007), the FIFA U-16 World Championship (1987), and the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup (2002, 2014).

Organization and governance[edit]

Canada Soccer is a non-profit organization governed by a board of directors consisting of 14 directors: a President, Vice President, six elected directors, and six appointed or independent directors.[4][5] Each of the six elected directors is elected from one of six geographic regions. The board must include at least three men and three women. The president of the board is Charmaine Crooks, a five-time Olympian and Olympic Silver Medallist in track & field, and the vice president is Kelly Brown.

Canada Soccer is administered by the General Secretariat, which is led by general secretary Peter Montopoli and deputy general secretary Earl Cochrane.[6] The general secretary is the chief executive of Soccer Canada, and is appointed by the board of directors.[4]

Canada Soccer is a member of the worldwide soccer body FIFA and the North American soccer body CONCACAF and also has a relationship with the International Olympic Committee.

Canada Soccer's objectives, as described in its by-laws, are to:[4]

  1. promote, regulate and control the game of soccer throughout Canada, particularly through youth and development programs;
  2. organize competitions in Association Football in all its forms at a national level, by defining the areas of authority conceded to the various leagues of which it is composed;
  3. draw up Association Football regulations and provisions, and ensure their enforcement;
  4. protect the interests of its Members;
  5. respect and prevent any infringement of the statutes, regulations, directives and decisions of FIFA, CONCACAF and The CSA, as well as the Laws of the Game;
  6. prevent all methods or practices that jeopardize the integrity of matches or competitions or give rise to abuse of Association Football;
  7. control and supervise all friendly Association Football matches played throughout Canada;
  8. manage international sporting relations connected with Association Football;
  9. host competitions at international and other levels.

National teams[edit]

Men's national team[edit]

The Canada men's national soccer team represents Canada in international soccer competitions at the senior men's level. Their most significant achievements are winning the 1985 CONCACAF Championship to qualify for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, winning the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup to qualify for the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup and qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. A Canadian club team also won a gold medal in the 1904 Summer Olympics.

The men's national soccer team have played at the FIFA World Cup on two occasions, in 1986, and 2022. They have yet to make it through to the knockout stages. By qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Canada ended a 36-year drought. Canada with Mexico and the United States will jointly host the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the first 48-team event.

Canada have played at the CONCACAF Gold Cup on eighteen occasions, most recently in 2021. They co-hosted the tournament in 2015, where they finished 4th in their group, and did not advance to the knockout stage.

Women's national team[edit]

The Canada women's national soccer team represents Canada in international women's soccer competitions at the senior women's level. Its most significant achievements are winning the 1998 CONCACAF Women's Championship to qualify for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, and winning the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The Canadian team also won a gold medal in the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The women's national soccer team has played at the FIFA Women's World Cup on eight occasions (missing only the inaugural 1991 edition), most recently in 2023. The team reached international prominence at the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, losing in the third place match to the United States. Canada hosted the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, and reached the quarterfinals.

The team has played at the CONCACAF W Championship on ten occasions, most recently in 2022. It hosted the tournament in 1994 and 1998.

Canada has played at the Summer Olympics on four occasions, most recently at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where they were crowned champions for the very first time.

Youth national teams[edit]

The men's youth team most significant achievements are winning the 1986 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament to qualify for the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship, and winning the 1996 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament to qualify for the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship.

The women's youth team most significant achievements are winning the 2004 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship, winning the 2008 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship to qualify for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, and winning the 2010 CONCACAF Women's U-17 Championship to qualify for the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.

Canada Soccer Association oversees and promotes the development of many youth national teams:

Extended national teams[edit]

Professional leagues[edit]

Despite a long history of professional soccer in the country, Canada have struggled to build and sustain domestic soccer leagues. They have gone through many different iterations, finally landing on the Canadian Premier League that was founded in 2019.


The Canadian Premier League (CPL) is the top division of soccer in Canada. It is the only fully professional, and only fully national league in the system. Founded in 2019, the CPL is composed of eight teams and is sanctioned by the CSA. There are also three Canadian teams which play in Major League Soccer, the first-division league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, reflecting a longstanding practice of major Canadian sports franchises competing in American leagues.

CSA does not have a sanctioned second-division men's soccer league, however they do have a third-division sanctioned league: League1 Canada which was founded in 2022. League1 Canada is contested by clubs from four divisions; these are Ligue1 Québec, League1 Ontario, League1 British Columbia, and League1 Alberta for both the men's and women's divisions. In 2022, Toronto FC II and Whitecaps FC 2 began play in MLS Next Pro, a USSF-sanctioned third-division league.

At the professional level, Canada's domestic cup is the Canadian Championship. Founded in 2008, the Canadian Championship is an annual tournament contested by Canadian professional teams and the champions of each League1 Canada division. The winner is awarded the Voyageurs Cup and a berth in the CONCACAF Champions Cup.[7] Canada's best performance in the CONCACAF Champions Cup came in the 2014–15 competition, when Montreal Impact reached the finals.[8] Toronto FC also reached the final in 2018 where they fell in penalties to C.D. Guadalajara.[9]


As of 2023, Canada does not have a professional women's league.[10] The CSA previously had an affiliation with the U.S.-based National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) where some Canada women's national soccer team players were assigned to NWSL clubs.[11] This affiliation ended after the 2021 season when the allocation system was abolished,[12] although many Canadians continue to play in the American league.[13]

In 2022, former national team player Diana Matheson and current national team captain Christine Sinclair announced a new Canadian women's professional league targeted to start play in 2025.[14] Matheson and Project 8 Sports Inc. are leading this effort while Sinclair is involved in an advisory role.[14] Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Calgary Foothills WFC, and AFC Toronto City have been announced as inaugural teams.[15]

League system[edit]

Professional leagues in Canada
League Division Federation # of men's teams
Canadian Premier League 1 CSA 8
Major League Soccer 1 USSF 3
MLS Next Pro 3 USSF 2
Semi-professional leagues in Canada
League Division Federation # of men's teams # of women's teams
United Women's Soccer 2 USSF 2
League1 Alberta 3 CSA 7 7
League1 British Columbia 3 CSA 7 7
League1 Ontario 3 CSA 25 22
Ligue1 Québec 3 CSA 11 12


In July 2022, an independent review summarized in a 125-page report by McLaren Global Sport Solution, commissioned by Canada Soccer, concluded that Canada Soccer mishandled sexual harassment allegations in 2008 against then Canada U-20 women's soccer coach Bob Birarda, who was later found guilty of three counts of sexual assault. It said Canada Soccer was "described by many as being dysfunctional and inefficient" in 2007 and 2008, and concluded among other things that "harassment was not a priority issue amongst the senior Canadian Soccer Association leadership team" at the time.[16]

In 2022, Canada Soccer's then newly appointed Secretary General Earl Cochrane said: "We are going to be leaders in this safe sport – through policy, practice, programs."[17]

Executive committee[edit]

Role Member Notes
President Charmaine Crooks [18]
Vice-President Paul-Claude Bérubé [18]
General Secretary Kevin Blue [19]
Treasurer Steve Reed [20]
Member Dale T. Briggs [21]
Member Kelly Brown [21]
Member Brian Burden [21]
Member Charisse Bacchus [21]
Member Charlie Cuzzetto [21]
Member Stephanie J. Geosits [21]
Member Dominique Grégoire [21]
Member Orest Konowalchuk [21]
Member Pierre Marchand [21]
Member Dino Rossi [21]
Member Don Story [21]
Member Brittany Timko Baxter [21]


No. Name Tenure
1 Fred Barter 1912
2 Tom Watson 1913
3 Edward Bailey Fisher 1914
4 Hugh Craig Cambell 1915–1919
5 Tom Guthrie 1919
6 Dan McNeil 1920–1921
7 John Easton 1922–1925
8 John Russell 1925–1931
9 Tom Holland 1931–1932
10 Charles Smail 1932–1934
11 Len Peto 1935–1938
12 Tom Elliot 1939–1940
13 Fred Crumblehulme 1946–1947
14 Robert Walker 1947
15 Otis Todd 1947–1949
16 Charles Pinnell 1949–1953
17 Ernest Campbell 1953
18 Jock Hendry 1954–1956
19 Arthur Arnold 1957
20 Victor Hagen 1958–1960
21 Patrick Nolan 1961–1962
22 Dave Fryatt 1963–1964
23 Bill Simpson 1965–1968
24 Aubrey Sanford 1969–1971
25 John Barnes 1972–1973
26 Bill Stirling 1973–1981
27 Jim Fleming 1982–1985
28 Fred Stambrook 1986–1991
29 Terry Quinn 1992–1997
30 Andy Sharpe 2001–2005
31 Colin Linford 2006–2007
32 Dominic Maestracci 2008–2012
33 Victor Montagliani 2012–2017
34 Steve Reed 2017–2020
35 Nick Bontis 2020–2023
36 Charmaine Crooks 2023–

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ramón Coll, electo Presidente de la Confederación de Futbol de América del Norte, América Central y el Caribe" [Ramón Coll, elected President of the Football Confederation of North America, Central America and the Caribbean]. La Nación (in Spanish). September 23, 1961.
  2. ^ Jose, Colin. "Manitoba: The Early Years". Canadian Soccer History. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  3. ^ "Manitoba". Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum. Archived from the original on January 6, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Canadian Soccer Association By-Laws 2013" (PDF). Canadian Soccer Association. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 26, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  5. ^ "Canada Soccer Governance". Canadian Soccer Association. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  6. ^ "Canada Soccer staff". Canadian Soccer Association. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  7. ^ "Canadian teams set to do battle". The Globe and Mail. Canada. March 27, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
  8. ^ "Montreal Impact become first Canadian team to advance to CONCACAF final". Montreal Gazette. Montreal. The Canadian Press. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  9. ^ Armstrong, Laura (April 26, 2018). "Toronto FC loses CONCACAF Champions League final in dramatic shootout". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  10. ^ Johnson, Meaghen (August 12, 2023). "Matheson not tempering expectations for women's pro soccer league". TSN. Retrieved August 16, 2023. The national team is currently ranked seventh in the world and is the only country inside the top 20 without its own domestic league.
  11. ^ "Christine Sinclair leads list of 10 Canadians given allocated status in NWSL". CBC Sports. The Canadian Press. February 25, 2021. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  12. ^ Zucker, Joseph (December 13, 2021). "USWNT, US Soccer Agree to End NWSL Allocation System for National Team Players". Bleacher Report. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  13. ^ Palermo, Adam (March 23, 2023). "CanWNT star-spotting: A Canadian fan's guide to the 2023 NWSL season". Canadian Soccer Daily. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  14. ^ a b Dichter, Myles (December 5, 2022). "Christine Sinclair, Diana Matheson reveal pro Canadian women's soccer league set for kickoff in 2025". CBC Sports. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  15. ^ Dichter, Myles (April 26, 2023). "Toronto named 3rd franchise in Canadian women's pro soccer league set to start in 2025". CBC Sports. Archived from the original on April 26, 2023. Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  16. ^ Davidson, Neil (July 28, 2022). "Canada Soccer Mishandles Sexual Harrament Allegations". CBC News. The Canadian Press.
  17. ^ Heroux, Devin (July 29, 2022). "Canada Soccer Committed to Strengthening Safe Sport Culture". CBC News.
  18. ^ a b Davidson, Neil (March 1, 2023). "Olympian Charmaine Crooks named Canada Soccer's interim president". CBC News. The Canadian Press.
  19. ^ "Golf Canada chief sport officer Kevin Blue named Canada Soccer general secretary, CEO". Lethbridge Herald. The Canadian Press. February 29, 2024. Archived from the original on February 29, 2024. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  20. ^ "The Canadian Soccer Association". FIFA. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Board of Directors - Canada Soccer". September 15, 2022. Retrieved January 11, 2024.

External links[edit]