League1 Ontario

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League1 Ontario
Men's Division
League1 Ontario Logo.png
Organising bodyCanadian Soccer Association
FoundedNovember 15, 2013
First season2014
CountryCanada
ConfederationCONCACAF
Number of teams16
Level on pyramid3
Domestic cup(s)Canadian Championship
League cup(s)L1 Cup
Current championsVaughan Azzurri
(2018)
Current L1 Cup
champion
Vaughan Azzurri
(2018)
Most championshipsOakville Blue Devils
Vaughan Azzurri
(2 titles each)
Most L1 Cup
champions
Vaughan Azzurri (3)
TV partnersOneSoccer (from 2020)
Websiteleague1ontario.com
2019 League1 Ontario season
Women's Division
First season2015
CountryCanada
Number of teams14
League cup(s)L1 Cup
Current championsDurham United
(2018)
Current L1 Cup championWoodbridge Strikers
(2018)
Most championshipsFC London
Durham United
(2 titles each)
Most L1 Cup champions4 teams (1 title each)
2019 Women's League1 Ontario 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.[1] The 2019 season includes 16 teams in the men's division and 14 teams in the women's division.

In the Canadian soccer league system, its men's division is behind the Canadian Premier League (CPL), and 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.[2]

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, Vaughan Azzurri, Windsor Stars and Woodbridge Strikers.[3]

Dylan Sacramento of Toronto FC Academy scored the first ever goal in the league with a 10th-minute strike against Vaughan Azzurri.[4] In the same game, Mateo Restrepo received the league's first red card.[4]

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,"[5][6] 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.[7][8] 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.[9][10]

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.[11] Expansion continued for the 2016 season by adding four teams to each division[12] and the introduction of a conference format in the men's division.[13]

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."[14]

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
2019 16 TBD Not held

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.[15] Since 2017, the league champion has qualified for the Canadian Championship.

A cup tournament (known as the L1 Cup) was played from 2014 until 2018. The tournament ran concurrently with the regular season, with cup games usually taking place during mid-week.

Clubs[edit]

Current clubs[edit]

Of the sixteen current clubs, three are based in Toronto, ten are based elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area, and three are based in other cities in Southern Ontario. There are no clubs based in Northern Ontario.[note 1]

Men's division
Team City Principal stadium Founded First season Head coach[note 2]
Alliance United Toronto Centennial College 2018 Canada Ilya Orlov
Aurora FC Aurora Stewart Burnett Park 1964 2016 Canada Michael Aquino
Darby FC Whitby Whitby Soccer Centre 2018 Scotland David Thorburn
Durham United FA Pickering Kinsmen Park 2014 [note 3] Trinidad and Tobago Paul Martin
FC London London German Canadian FC Stadium 2008 2016 Canada Michael Marcoccia[17]
Master's Futbol Toronto L'Amoreaux Park 2012 2014 Trinidad and Tobago Rick Titus
North Mississauga SC Mississauga Hershey Centre 1982 2016 Canada Sam Medeiros[18]
Oakville Blue Devils Oakville Sheridan Trafalgar Stadium[note 4] 1994 2015 England Duncan Wilde
Ottawa South United Force Ottawa Quinn's Pointe[note 5] 2017 Zimbabwe Peter Mapendere[19]
ProStars FC Brampton Victoria Park Stadium[note 6] 2015 Hungary Josef Komlodi
Sigma FC Mississauga Paramount Fine Foods Centre 2005 2014
Toronto Skillz FC Toronto Birchmount Stadium 2008 2016 Canada Guillermo Prieto
Unionville Milliken SC Markham Bill Crothers Park 2018 Italy Emanuele Ameltonis
Vaughan Azzurri Vaughan McNaughton Park 2014 Canada Patrice Gheisar
Windsor TFC Windsor University of Windsor Stadium 2004 2014 Canada Zibby Piatkiewicz[20]
Woodbridge Strikers Vaughan Vaughan Grove 1976 2014 Canada Peter Pinizzotto
  1. ^ Thunder Bay Chill, Northern Ontario's only club at a comparable level to L1O, plays in USL League Two.
  2. ^ Unless otherwise noted, this information was obtained from team directories on the league website
  3. ^ Durham United was on hiatus in 2018 & returned in 2019[16]
  4. ^ Some matches were played at Bronte Athletic Park
  5. ^ Ottawa South United Force played one home match against Windsor TFC Stars at the Ontario Soccer Centre
  6. ^ Some matches were played at Terry Fox Park

Former clubs[edit]

Former teams
Team City Stadium First season Final season
Internacional de Toronto Toronto Lamport Stadium 2014
ANB Futbol Richmond Hill The Country Day School 2014 2015
Kingston Clippers Kingston Tindall Field, Queen's University 2014 2016
North Toronto Nitros Toronto Varsity Stadium 2016 2017
Toronto FC III Toronto BMO Training Ground 2014 2018
Sanjaxx Lions Toronto Monarch Park Stadium 2015 2018

Timeline[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:[21]

  • 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.

Reserve division[edit]

In 2019, L1O launched a men's U21 Reserve Division open to existing League1 Ontario or Ontario Player Development League license holders. The inaugural year will consist of a 12-game summer season and a separate 10-game fall season. Nine teams will participate in the 2019 summer season with a possibility of more teams joining for the fall.[22]

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
2019 14 TBD Not held

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.[23]

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

Current clubs[edit]

Of the fourteen current clubs, two are based in Toronto, nine are based elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area, and three are based in other cities in Southern Ontario. There are no clubs based in Northern Ontario.

Women's division
Team City Principal stadium First season Head coach
Alliance United Toronto Centennial College 2019
Aurora FC Aurora Stewart Burnett Park 2016 Gianni Cimini
Darby FC Whitby Whitby Soccer Centre & Darlington Field 2016 Mirco Schroff
DeRo United FC Toronto L'Amoreaux Park 2018
Durham United FA Pickering Kinsmen Park 2015 Ramin Muhammadi
Hamilton United Hamilton Ron Joyce Stadium 2018 Francisco Font
FC Oshawa Oshawa 2019
FC London London German Canadian Club 2016 Mike Marcoccia
North Mississauga SC Mississauga Hershey Centre 2015 Jhon Ardila
Oakville Blue Devils Oakville Sheridan Trafalgar Stadium 2018
Ottawa South United Force Ottawa Quinn's Pointe 2019
Unionville Milliken SC Markham Bill Crothers Park 2017 Paul Omoghan
Vaughan Azzurri Vaughan McNaughton Park 2015 Carmine Isacco
Woodbridge Strikers Vaughan Vaughan Grove 2015 David Porco

Former clubs[edit]

Former teams
Team City Stadium First season Final season
ANB Futbol Richmond Hill The Country Day School 2015
ProStars FC Brampton Victoria Park 2015
Kingston Clippers Kingston Tindall Field, Queen's University 2015 2016
Sanjaxx Lions Toronto Monarch Park Stadium 2015 2017
Toronto Azzurri Blizzard Toronto Azzurri Village 2017 2018
West Ottawa SC Ottawa Wesley Clover Park 2017 2018

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "League 1 kicks off Ontario soccer season, offering a chance to rise up the ranks". chatnewstoday.ca. Canadian Press. April 28, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2019. League 1 Ontario and the PLSQ league in Quebec are sanctioned by the Canadian Soccer Association as Division 3 leagues.
  2. ^ "OSA to pilot semi-pro League1 Ontario in 2014-2015". OntarioSoccer.ca. November 15, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  3. ^ "OSA announces League1 Ontario teams". OntarioSoccer.ca. April 8, 2014. Archived from the original on May 18, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Toronto FC Academy 1 - Vaughan Azzurri 1". League1Ontario.com.
  5. ^ "Notification". League1Ontario.com. July 22, 2014. Archived from the original on August 9, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  6. ^ "OSA statement on Internacional de Toronto". OntarioSoccer.ca. July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  7. ^ Tim Kelly (October 6, 2014). "Toronto FC Academy 3 - Kingston Cataraqui Clippers 1". League1Ontario.com. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  8. ^ "TFC Academy Triumphs". torontofc.ca. October 4, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Kamal Hylton (October 19, 2014). "Vaughan Azzurri crowned 2014 League1 Cup champions". RedNationOnline.ca. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  11. ^ "League1 Ontario Announces 12-Team 2015 Men's Division". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  12. ^ "League1 Ontario Announces Eight New Teams For Upcoming Season". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  13. ^ "League1 Ontario growing again in 2016". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  14. ^ "Canadian Premier League acquires League1 Ontario". SportsNet. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  15. ^ "2018 League1 Ontario Season To Feature New Format, Divisional Configuration And Several Exciting New Additions". league1ontario.com. League1 Ontario. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  16. ^ "Durham United FA Return to League1 Ontario Men's Division for 2019". Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  17. ^ "Marcoccia announced as 2018 League1 Head Coach". FCLONDON. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ "League One Ontario Program | Ottawa South United Soccer Association". www.osu.ca. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  20. ^ "Windsor TFC finds new head coach". iheartradio.com. AM 800. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ "League1 Ontario Announces Men's U21 Reserve Division". League1 Ontario. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  23. ^ "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]