League1 Ontario

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League1 Ontario
League1 Ontario Logo.png
Organising bodyCanadian Premier League
FoundedNovember 15, 2013
CountryCanada
ConfederationCanadian Soccer Association
Number of teams17 (men's)
13 (women's)
Level on pyramid3
Domestic cup(s)Canadian Championship (one team)
League cup(s)L1 Cup
Current championsVaughan Azzurri (men's)
Durham United (women's)
(2018)
Current L1 Cup
champions
Vaughan Azzurri (men's)
Woodbridge Strikers (women's)
(2018)
Websiteleague1ontario.com
2018 men's, 2018 women's

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 17 teams in the men's division, while the women's division has 13 teams.

In the Canadian soccer league system, its men's division is behind Major League Soccer (MLS) (Division I), the United Soccer League (USL) (Division II), while roughly equal to the Première Ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ). The L1O women's division is behind the U.S.-based National Women's Soccer League, which has no Canadian teams but is partially backed by the CSA, with many Canada national team members assigned to NWSL teams. As such, it is roughly equivalent to the Women's Premier Soccer League and United Women's Soccer, which form the unofficial second level of the U.S. women's game; each of those leagues also has one Canadian team.

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 October 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]

On November 14, 2018, the Canadian Premier League announced its purchase of League1 Ontario. According to L1O commissioner Dino Rossi, L1O would serve as "CPL's official development league."[13]

Men's division[edit]

L1O Men's Trophy Winners
Season Teams L1O Champions
Play-off winners
L1 Cup
Cup winners
2014 9 Toronto FC Academy Vaughan Azzurri
2015 12 Oakville Blue Devils Woodbridge Strikers
2016 16 Vaughan Azzurri Vaughan Azzurri
2017 16 Oakville Blue Devils Woodbridge Strikers
2018 17 Vaughan Azzurri Vaughan Azzurri

Competition format[edit]

The League1 Ontario regular season runs from May through October using a single table format, with each team playing one match against all other teams. The top eight teams compete in the league playoffs at the end of the season.[14]

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. ^ Some matches were played at Bronte Athletic Park
  3. ^ Ottawa South United Force played one home match against Windsor TFC Stars at the Ontario Soccer Centre
  4. ^ Some matches were played at Terry Fox Park

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:[19]

  • 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]

L1O Women's Trophy Winners
Season Teams L1O Champions
Play-off winners
L1 Cup
Cup winners
2015 7 Durham United FC North Mississauga SC
2016 9 FC London Vaughan Azzurri
2017 11 FC London FC London
2018 13 Durham United FA Woodbridge Strikers

Competition format[edit]

The League1 Ontario regular season runs from May through September using a single table format, with each team playing one match against all other teams. The top four teams compete in the league playoffs at the end of the season.[20]

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

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. Archived from the original on May 18, 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. Archived from the original on August 9, 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. Archived from the original on November 4, 2014. 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 June 8, 2015.
  11. ^ "League1 Ontario Announces Eight New Teams For Upcoming Season". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  12. ^ "LEAGUE1 ONTARIO GROWING AGAIN IN 2016". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  13. ^ "Canadian Premier League acquires League1 Ontario". SportsNet. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  14. ^ "2018 League1 Ontario Season To Feature New Format, Divisional Configuration And Several Exciting New Additions". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  15. ^ "FCLONDON". FCLONDON. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "May 5, 2018 League 1 Ontario--North Mississauga Panthers vs Pro Stars FC game report (by Rocket Robin)". www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  17. ^ "League One Ontario Program | Ottawa South United Soccer Association". www.osu.ca. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  18. ^ "Windsor TFC finds new head coach". iheartradio.com. AM 800. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  19. ^ "League1 Ontario Presentation, April 9, 2014" (PDF). VaughanSoccer.com. April 9, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 17, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  20. ^ "2018 League1 Ontario Season To Feature New Format, Divisional Configuration And Several Exciting New Additions". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved March 14, 2018.

External links[edit]