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CPSL Worth a Second Look


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I thought some people may be interested in an article I wrote on the CPSL...

CPSL Worth a Second Look

July 16, 2004


(Lino Terra, Editor) – When I mention ‘CPSL’ to local soccer fans, I get one of two responses. Casual fans invariably respond, “Never heard of it”, while more knowledgeable fans will scoff, “Bush league”. Upon further disussion I usually find that both the apathy and the negativity stem from off-field activities. The league has a horrible record of marketing itself, and the teams seem to be in a constant state of controversy and in-fighting, although I must say that thus far this season has been unusually calm and scandal-free.

However, if you look past the off-field misadventures and actually attend a game, you may be pleasantly surprised. I recently attended a thrilling match between North York and St. Catharines at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan. It was a well-played, fast-paced game with many scoring chances and plenty of goals. The skill level was higher than I expected, and definitely an improvement over previous years.

This was the first CPSL game I’ve been able to attend this year and I was encouraged to see such a quality game from two of the league's bottom clubs. The fact that two struggling teams could play such attractive soccer only bodes well for the overall skill level of the league. Seventeen-year-old Alex Braletic was a force for the North York Astros with two goals and plenty of chances. Astro midfielder Boris Krimus and St. Catharines’ goalkeeper Claudio Perri also stood out as top quality.

A few of the improvements I noticed were very subtle but added to the quality of the match as an event. Firstly, the game was played on the Fieldturf of the Ontario Soccer Centre. The surface was immaculate and allowed the teams to play the ball around efficiently. After seeing some of the other fields used by CPSL clubs, I would have to say that the league should mandate all clubs upgrade to Fieldturf or similar artificial surfaces, as a minimum. Secondly, the addition of a fourth official helped the game run smoothly and gave it a bit of a professional feel.

Of course, the league still has a lot of work to do if it actually wants to become a league that attracts fans that are not related to, or dating, the players. The game day atmosphere that permeates the air at even the lowest level European and South American matches is nowhere to be found at most CPSL matches. Most of the clubs have struggled to connect with the community – specifically the youth clubs that theoretically would provide the majority of the fan base.

Regardless of the improvements that are made or planned by professional and semi-professional clubs in Ontario and across Canada, many people will continue to stay away in the hopes that something better will come along. Unfortunately, we are caught in the vicious cycle. Unless we, as fans, show that we support the soccer we have, investors will never take the risk of bringing top flight professional soccer (i.e. MLS) to this country.

So if you find yourself with a night off from soccer duties for your son/daughter, why not take him or her out to a CPSL, Lynx, Fury, Inferno, Canadians or Chill game? Support your local team and catch some live, good quality soccer from the best seats in the house. What more could you ask for?

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quote:Originally posted by Joe Keeper

Great Article,

Personally I agree that fans should not be so dismissive of the CPSL. It is Div. 2 Canadian soccer and deserves attention too, as you say to develop the game domestically.

What are the average attendences like for the league?

sorry to say but it is division 3 soccer ...it hopes to be division 2 one day ...

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quote:Originally posted by L.T.

in order to be division 3, doesn't there have to be a div 1 and div 2? (MLS doesn't count as he said 'Div. 2 Canadian Soccer')

CSA defines 3 divisional standards for pro soccer in canada .. at the moment there are no divison 2 teams or leagues in canada ...

most of us know that the a-league teams are division 1 teams in canada ... what few people know is what means a division 2 or 3 team ...

the CPSL is not a member league of the CSA ... CPSL teams are not member teams of the CSA ... CPSL players are not registred with the CSA ..

division 3 pro soccer leagues and teams are members of provincial organizations ...

the CPSL is a member league of the OSA ... CPSL teams are member teams of the OSA ... CPSL players are registered with the OSA ...

divsion 2 leagues, teams and players are affliated with the CSA ...

other standards are at work here as well including team player budget...

division 2 team player budget = $100,000 (minimum)

division 3 team player budget = $50,000 (minimum)

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