League1 Ontario

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League1 Ontario
Men's Division
League1 Ontario Logo.png
Country Canada
Confederation Canadian Soccer Association
Founded November 15, 2013
Number of teams 16 (men's)
11 (women's)
Level on pyramid 3
League cup(s) League1 Ontario Cup
Current champions Vaughan Azzurri
(2016)
Current cup champions Vaughan Azzurri
(2016)
Website http://www.league1ontario.com/
2017 season

League1 Ontario (L1O) is a semi-professional men's and women's soccer league in Ontario, Canada, and is sanctioned by the Canadian Soccer Association and the Ontario Soccer Association as a Division III league in the Canadian soccer league system. The league currently has 16 teams in the men's division, while the women's division has 11 teams heading into its second season.

In the Canadian soccer league system, it is behind Major League Soccer (MLS) (Division I) and the North American Soccer League (NASL) (Division II), while roughly equal to the Première Ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ).

History[edit]

League1 Ontario was founded on November 15, 2013 in an announcement by the Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) that it would pilot the semi-professional league in 2014 and 2015 as a key pillar of long-term player development in Canada. The league would be administered by DG Sports, who also operate the province's amateur Ontario Soccer League, with Dino Rossi serving as commissioner. OSA President Ron Smale stated that the league's core group of players are to consist of U-23s, with League1 complementing the newly formed Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) elite youth league as a pathway for professional player development.[1]

On April 8, 2014 the OSA revealed its plans for the inaugural season of League1 to feature 10 teams, chosen through a standards-based application process, with the first games to take place during the final weekend in May 2014. The founding 10 clubs would be: ANB Futbol, Durham Power FC, Internacional de Toronto, Kingston Cataraqui Clippers, Masters FA, Sigma FC, Toronto FC Academy, Academy Vaughan Azzurri, Windsor Stars and Woodbridge Strikers.[2]

Dylan Sacramento of Toronto FC Academy scored the first ever goal in the league with a 10th-minute strike against Vaugham Azzuri.[3] In the same game Mateo Restrepo received the league's first red card.[3]

On July 22, 2014, the league and the Ontario Soccer Association announced the termination of Internacional de Toronto's license agreement due to "failure to comply with agreed-upon league standards,"[4][5] with league matches rescheduled for the season to accommodate the change.

Toronto FC Academy were crowned the inaugural league champions on Oct. 4, 2014 after defeating the Cataraqui Clippers 3-1 to secure the top place in the regular season standings.[6][7] Vaughan Azzurri and Sigma FC contested the inaugural League1 Ontario Cup on October 19, 2014 at BMO Field, with the Azzurri winning the single-game cup final 2-1 to be crowned champions.[8][9]

In January 2015, L1O announced the launch of a women's division that would include seven teams. In the same release the number of men's teams would go up to 12 for the new season.[10] Expansion continued for the 2016 season by adding four teams to each division[11] and the introduction of a conference format in the men's division.[12]

Men's Division[edit]

Competition format[edit]

The League1 Ontario regular season runs from May through October using a two-conference format, with each team playing two matches against teams from their own conference and one match against teams from the opposing conference. The top team from each conference will face each other for the league championship at the end of the season.[13]

A single-elimination cup tournament runs concurrently with the regular season, with cup games taking place during mid-week.

Clubs[edit]

Current clubs[edit]

  1. ^ Unless otherwise noted, this information was obtained from team directories on the league website
  2. ^ Windsor TFC Stars played one home match against Ottawa South United Force at Varsity Stadium

Former clubs[edit]

Organization[edit]

Regulations[edit]

League1 Ontario was founded with a series of values, objectives and standards all aimed at furthering the league's stated objective of improving player development in Ontario and Canada. Some of these regulations include:[15]

  • Standards-based club licensing, renewed annually (not a franchise/ownership model). Standards include technical, organizational, facility and financial criteria.
  • Maximum of 3 non-Canadian players per club.
  • 18-man game day rosters must include a minimum of 8 U-23 players.
  • Starting 11 must include a minimum of 4 U-23 players.
  • Maximum of 5 substitutions per match.

Women's Division[edit]

The seven teams that which contested the inaugural season of the women's division were announced by League1 Ontario and the Ontario Soccer Association on January 28, 2015.[16] The division grew to nine teams for the 2016 season,[11] and by another two teams for a total of 11 ahead of the 2017 season.[17]

Durham United FC won the inaugural league championship, while North Mississauga SC were the 2015 cup champions.

Current clubs[edit]

  1. ^ Unless otherwise noted, this information was obtained from team directories on the league website

Former clubs[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "OSA TO PILOT SEMI-PRO LEAGUE1 ONTARIO IN 2014-2015". OntarioSoccer.ca. November 15, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ "OSA announces League1 Ontario teams". OntarioSoccer.ca. April 8, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b http://www.league1ontario.com/article/toronto-fc-academy-1---vaughan-azzurri-1
  4. ^ "Notification". League1Ontario.com. July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ "OSA statement on Internacional de Toronto". OntarioSoccer.ca. July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ Tim Kelly (October 6, 2014). "Toronto FC Academy 3 - Kingston Cataraqui Clippers 1". League1Ontario.com. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ "TFC Academy Triumphs". torontofc.ca. October 4, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  8. ^ Kamal Hylton (October 20, 2014). "L1 Cup Final: Vaughan Azzurri 2 - Sigma F.C. 1". League1Ontario.com. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  9. ^ Kamal Hylton (October 19, 2014). "Vaughan Azzurri crowned 2014 League1 Cup champions". RedNationOnline.ca. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  10. ^ "League1 Ontario Announces 12-Team 2015 Men's Division". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "League1 Ontario Announces Eight New Teams For Upcoming Season". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "LEAGUE1 ONTARIO GROWING AGAIN IN 2016". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  13. ^ "LEAGUE1 ONTARIO GROWING AGAIN IN 2016". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  14. ^ "Windsor TFC finds new head coach". iheartradio.com. AM 800. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  15. ^ "League1 Ontario Presentation, April 9, 2014" (PDF). VaughanSoccer.com. April 9, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  16. ^ "League1 And OSA Announce 2015 Women's Division". league1ontario.com. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "League1 Ontario Continues To Grow Across Ontario". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 

External links[edit]