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Gopherbashi

League1 Ontario 2017

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http://www.league1ontario.com/news_article/show/735737?referrer_id=2309049

Finally seeing some representation from Ottawa here - Ottawa South United will join the men's table for this season, bringing them to 17 teams (assuming none from last year drop out - no news on that at all).

In true Canadian soccer form, we have clubs sharing a team name on the women's side, as Toronto Azzurri Blizzard makes a dream come true for @BringBackTheBlizzard (hopefully a D3 women's team was everything you hoped for) and gives us some needless confusion with Vaughan Azzurri.  Unionville Milliken SC and West Ottawa SC also add teams to the women's division, giving that side a total of 12 for the upcoming season.

I wouldn't want to complain too loudly, because you never know what the future holds, but 12 women's teams seems like a lot for an women's elite "pro"-am development league, considering how few pro women's teams there are which could actually sign players.

No word yet about alignment or anything, though I imagine it will stay the same as last year.  The men had a single-table setup in 2015 with 12 teams, so I expect the women will keep with that format unless there's a philosophy change.  I'd think the men will also keep the two-conference setup from last season, with only one team being added, but maybe they'll try something crazy like a 3-division format.

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4 hours ago, Gopherbashi said:

http://www.league1ontario.com/news_article/show/735737?referrer_id=2309049

Finally seeing some representation from Ottawa here - Ottawa South United will join the men's table for this season, bringing them to 17 teams (assuming none from last year drop out - no news on that at all).

Finally!

I do hope they try to be a competitive, senior team rather than one of the U20 academy clubs, but unfortunately OSU are an academy-only club themselves and the press release seems to indicate they see it first and foremost as an opportunity to show off their best young talent. Disappointing, but hoprfully it leads to other, more competitive Ottawa clubs joining.

Edited by Zem

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5 hours ago, Zem said:

Finally!

I do hope they try to be a competitive, senior team rather than one of the U20 academy clubs, but unfortunately OSU are an academy-only club themselves and the press release seems to indicate they see it first and foremost as an opportunity to show off their best young talent. Disappointing, but hoprfully it leads to other, more competitive Ottawa clubs joining.

I get the sense that L1O sees itself as an opportunity to show off the province's best talent, so it wouldn't surprise me if OSU had the same philosophy.

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http://www.torontofc.ca/post/2016/12/19/toronto-fc-announce-rebrand-senior-academy-team-toronto-fc-iii

TFC announces that its L1O TFC Academy team will now be competing as TFC III within the league.

Interesting that it's described as their "senior" academy, since I felt that their PDL team typically had more senior players.

Sadly, no word yet as to whether London TFC or Windsor TFC will be fielding LTFC2 or WTFC2 in the OPDL.

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11 minutes ago, Gopherbashi said:

http://www.torontofc.ca/post/2016/12/19/toronto-fc-announce-rebrand-senior-academy-team-toronto-fc-iii

TFC announces that its L1O TFC Academy team will now be competing as TFC III within the league.

Interesting that it's described as their "senior" academy, since I felt that their PDL team typically had more senior players.

Sadly, no word yet as to whether London TFC or Windsor TFC will be fielding LTFC2 or WTFC2 in the OPDL.

Interesting. I thought TFC III was going to be in the CPL according to Kurt Larson. ;)

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23 minutes ago, hamiltonfan said:

So TFC3 moves back over from the PDL. This should boost the overall level of play in L1 and further increase player exposure 

It's already been moving in that direction from what I understand. @Rocket Robin would know better, but I believe the PDL team has had increasing NCAA focus with the top end/oldest academy kids floating between both the PDL and L1O rosters

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Free Press story about it:

http://www.lfpress.com/2017/01/31/fc-london-loses-coach-mario-despotovic-to-croatian-pros-hires-domagoj-kosic

The last guy Mario Despotovic is now coaching Hajduk Split's U-19 team.

Looks like the new guy started out at Dinamo Zagreb and had a lot of youth level caps for Croatia as a player then bounced about a lot of smaller Croatian teams for most of the rest of his career with a brief pit stop at Maccabi Tel Aviv along the way:

https://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domagoj_Kosić

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2 hours ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

Free Press story about it:

http://www.lfpress.com/2017/01/31/fc-london-loses-coach-mario-despotovic-to-croatian-pros-hires-domagoj-kosic

The last guy Mario Despotovic is now coaching Hajduk Split's U-19 team.

Looks like the new guy started out at Dinamo Zagreb and had a lot of youth level caps for Croatia as a player then bounced about a lot of smaller Croatian teams for most of the rest of his career with a brief pit stop at Maccabi Tel Aviv along the way:

https://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domagoj_Kosić

Maccabi Tel Aviv, Mitchell Goldhar connection ... hmm. 

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Lost in all the Voyageurs' Cup news today is that the L1O schedule for the upcoming season has finally been released.

The men go last week in April to Thanksgiving; roughly the same as last year.  22 games per team - haven't looked but I'd assume it's 2 in-conference and 1 out-of-conference as with 2016.

Women follow roughly the same schedule (1st weekend in May to Thanksgiving) - two weeks longer than last year.  Looks like they've actually kept the balanced schedule (somewhat surprising for me) and gone with two matches per opponent.

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What's missing from the L1O schedule announcement is any mention of the L1O Cup. This has been a regular part of L1O through 2016. With the L1O Cup effectively scrubbed from the website, it may no longer be running alongside the season.

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I'm curious to know the opinion of KW United fans that were supportive of them staying in PDL. Does the announcement from yesterday about L1O champions qualifying to the Voyageurs Cup sway you at all towards L1O rather than PDL? Let's assume for a moment that KW United to CPL isn't happening in the short term. Is the V-Cup carrot enough to sell you on L1O?

I'll tag @Levi Oakey since he's the KW United supporter I know off the top of my head. Can't remember, but I think he had preferred PDL over L1O.

Edit: I might as well ask FC London fans as well if you weren't satisfied with the move to L1O last year. Does this make the move over to L1O worth it?

Edited by Kent

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Don't know how I missed this.. but I will expand more here. I would prefer L1O because the season is longer, so I can support my team for longer. At the same time, I know why United wants to stay in the PDL. 

First, the OSA got super heavy handed about the whole thing, which is one of my worries about CPL. They basically showed up and said, you can apply when you want (originally) and then said, you'll be banned from US leagues and must play in L1O. Hence the bat comment. 

United is a professionally run club. They are the only USL PDL club to do all year scouting. Barry Maclean, the owner, is a player agent. So he is often doubling up scouting for both his club and his agency.

The difficulty with L1O is, in my opinion, it is trying to be a European league in Ontario. It might really work, but right now, the best talents play in CIS or NCAA because L1O doesn't play. I heard they want a 65 player roster, so from April to May when college players are released you play a bunch of local scrubs. Then you get your NCAA players and play them for the summer months until August. Then they swap back in your local scrubs in the final stretch of the season till October.

That's hard for the local players and frustrating for fans. "hey local scrub, you get to play until the big boys show up, than you should go find a job as a weed trimmer or something... and we'll come back for you in August? Maybe go treeplanting."

End of the day, I think the plan was for L1O to be more semi-pro than pro-am. Semi-pro makes sense, but so far they haven't had the clubs to do that. Clubs like FC London and KW United could probably make that jump (i have heard that United's season budget is well over half a million, and that is just 4 games), but they can't play in a league of 2-4.

United definitely has plans to make the jump up, and going to L1O would look like a drop down. I know that the FC London team changed significantly by entering L1O. Mark Haynes played with United a bit last year as we ran into GK injury trouble and he said that maybe 4-5 of the L1O players would have made their old PDL team. So it's CPL or bust for KW. This year they should be announcing a full affiliate agreement with TFC (so we can take their college aged-players) because even TFC isn't huge on the idea of saying you have faith in a bunch of kids and then pulling the rug from under them when the college kids come to roost.

 

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Reviving an old thread.

The season is winding down and there are now only 4 teams that have a mathematical chance of advancing to the Voyageurs Cup (only the champ advances). Those teams are Vaughan and Woodbridge in the East, and Oakville and Sigma in the West. Sigma is the longest shot at the moment. There is a massive game between Oakville and Woodbridge on October 4th that could determine a lot of this. If Wikipedia is correct, Vaughan holds the tie breaker (most wins) over Woodbridge and it may come down to that. Oakville holds the tie breaker over Sigma but likely won't need it, although the more I look at the schedule the more plausible it seems to have ties in both divisions.

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So Oakville have clinched the western conference with a 4-0 win over Sanjaxx while Vaughan and Woodbridge are still tied on points in the east. However Vaughan have now played all their games for the season while Woodbridge still have one game left. Vaughan have the tiebreaker currently with 16 wins to Woodbridge's 15.

So it will all come down to Woodbridge's last game of the season against Oakville on Wednesday, if Oakville drop any points to Woodbridge they will play them in the championship game, but if they win they will play against Vaughan.

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9 hours ago, Zem said:

So Oakville have clinched the western conference with a 4-0 win over Sanjaxx while Vaughan and Woodbridge are still tied on points in the east. However Vaughan have now played all their games for the season while Woodbridge still have one game left. Vaughan have the tiebreaker currently with 16 wins to Woodbridge's 15.

So it will all come down to Woodbridge's last game of the season against Oakville on Wednesday, if Oakville drop any points to Woodbridge they will play them in the championship game, but if they win they will play against Vaughan.

Not so fast Zem!  Sigma two games to play.  49 points + 6 for two wins and they also have 55 points like Oakville so OBD needs a result against Woodbridge in their last game on Wednesday. 

If teams are tied there will be a tiebreaker game on the same weekend as the championship would  been played and the championship game will be pushed back to the weekend after that.  (heard this answer from Cormac Rea L1O Communication Coordinator at that Sanjaxx game on Sunday).    Otherwise the Championship game's on Sunday the 15th at Ontario Soccer Centre across the city from the TFC vs Montreal MLS game which will include the Shield presentation.  56 L1O games for me so far this season but I'll miss the big one! 

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