Dear CPL Supporters,
As the Canadian Premier League wraps its inaugural season, we reflect on a year of Forever Firsts – starting with the Inaugural Match to the exciting two-match Canadian Premier League Finals 2019 and closing out with our unique Canadian Awards presentation. I wanted to take this moment to thank you for supporting your Club and for your dedication to the CPL during what can be referenced as only one of the most memorable and impactful years for the game of soccer in Canada.
From kicking off the year announcing the League’s first founding sponsor (Volkswagen), to announcing the Inaugural Match (April 27, 2019 between Forge FC and York9 FC), more partnerships, The Canadian Championship schedule, a landmark media deal with Mediapro (OneSoccer), launching the Centre Circle App, unveiling the first official CPL Macron Kits, Coach and Player signings, to announcing the full schedule and we hadn’t even hit the pitch yet! It has been an incredible year with too many highlights, moments and accomplishments to list in just one letter.
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We signed an incredible ten-year Official Media Partnership with Mediapro, one of the largest global soccer rights holders and content creators in the world and celebrated the launch of OneSoccer, a 24/7 LIVE channel that has become the new home of Canadian soccer. A feat that we don’t think people are aware of – Mediapro retrofitted 7 stadiums, hired a full production and on-air staff in Toronto, set-up a fully operational studio and sourced and hired the best broadcast talent in all seven cities. On the field, we impressed more than many expected, from showcasing some incredible U-21 young talent, to several of our players being called up for Canada Soccer Men’s National Team duty, to one of our Clubs beating an MLS Club in the Quarter Final round of the Canadian Championship, to another going to the second round of CONCACAF League – all in our first year. This momentum will continue to build and grow in 2020 as we continue to review and enhance our fan experience, competition level and rivalries!
What can you expect for 2020? More and better! The League’s second season will see the return to CONCACAF League for Forge FC, all Clubs competing hard in the 2020 Canadian Championship and the return of local heroes with a number of new rookies to be cheered on by our supporters!
2020 will be another exciting year for the League and Canadian soccer in general with the Canadian Women’s National team looking to medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Canadian Men’s national team continuing in qualifying play for a spot at the 2022 World Cup, our U-23 men’s team participating in Olympic qualifiers, the return of “The Battle of the North” – Canadian Championship and the CONCACAF League.
And of course, expansion. One of the top three questions I am asked the most. We have a lot of potential parties working behind the scenes getting together what is necessary in order to be considered for a CPL Club. We have always said… “Where are you going to play?” – it is not from lack of interest when it comes to expansion – it comes down to physical stadiums to play in – We are sure this log-jam will open up and we will be on track to meet the League’s goal of 14-16 CPL clubs by 2026.
As I close this letter by thanking all of you for your support, passion and dedication to the Canadian Premier League, I reflect on the many matches I attended and sat and spoke with our Club supporters: The Privateers, Generation IX, Barton Street Battalion, Red River Rising, The Foot Soldiers, River Valley Vanguard and the Lakeside Buoys – that experience defines our vision – We Are Many , We Are One. It has been a pleasure bringing the Canadian Premier League to Halifax, York, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver Island and we look forward to continue developing, improving and building a League For Canadians, By Canadians. Thank you for all you have done and will do in 2020!