A vision for unifying and elevating men’s and women’s provincial Division III Pro-Am soccer leagues nationwide.
Toronto, ON (March 31, 2022) – Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) in partnership with BC Soccer, Soccer Québec and Ontario Soccer announced today the formation of League1 Canada, an alliance of Canada’s existing provincial Division III Pro-Am men’s and women’s soccer leagues: League1 BC, League1 Ontario and Première ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ).
The League1 Canada national alliance helps unify and elevate the sport of soccer at the Pro-Am level in Canada. Working together, the three partner leagues want alignment on the sporting pathway for Canadian men and women to develop and transition to the professional level. The benefits include sharing of best practices while respecting the unique realities that exist in each province. In the first instance, alignment in league logos demonstrates commitment for 2022, both League1 BC and League1 Ontario will have aligned logos with PLSQ transitioning in 2023.
The alliance will also create a unique value proposition for potential national commercial partnerships through a series of national tournaments, competitions, and activations.
This initiative, which was the brainchild of former CPL Commissioner David Clanachan is designed to help forge deeper ties between the three provincial leagues, the provincial associations that sanction and support the operation of those leagues, the CPL and all their other stakeholders within the Canadian Soccer landscape. The move creates an organized association between the three provincial leagues and puts a focus on young soccer players in the largest provincial soccer associations in Canada. Bringing the three semi-professional leagues together will allow a collaboration that helps strengthen and develop match standards, growth development and opportunity for inter-competition down the road.
“League1 Ontario has enjoyed very positive relationships with our colleagues at PLSQ for many years and that spirit of cooperation has carried over to our new friends at League1 BC over the past several months, but the League1 Canada alliance takes those existing relationships to a completely different level,” said L1O Executive Chairman Dino Rossi. “I am confident that, by working together and establishing a close alignment of interests, we will grow the sport at the Division III Pro-Am level to all new heights.”
“The collaboration between League1 BC, League1 Ontario and PLSQ via League1 Canada enhances our ability to create opportunities for Canadian players, coaches and officials and consolidates our competition structure. It demonstrates our commitment to sustain the momentum of the sport in Canada. We are entering a new era in our province and our country!”, said Gabriel Assis, BC Soccer Director of Operations.
“Today’s announcement solidifies our common desire to join forces and work more closely together to provide our teams and players with a more professional environment coupled with new sporting challenges,” said President of Soccer Québec Pierre Marchand. “This alliance will be very profitable as the leagues will be able to benefit from more resources and expertise, which will allow them to grow further and take a more important place in the landscape of Canadian soccer, which is in full swing.”
League1 BC is an adult open age Pro-Am Soccer League operated by BC Soccer. Established in 2021, the league is intended to bridge the gap between youth and professional soccer, targeting the “Training to Compete” stage within Long-term Player Development (LTPD). The League will engage communities across British Columbia providing standard-based competition and training environments for female and male players, coaches, and match officials. League1 BC serves as a key platform of development into further opportunities within the game.
About League1 Ontario
League1 Ontario is the province of Ontario’s pro-am, standards-based, senior league. Founded in 2014, the league began with a ten team men’s division, which has now grown to 22 teams in the men’s division and includes a separate 20 team women’s division. League1 Ontario serves as a stepping stone between the high-performance youth level and elite amateur and professional levels of the game.
Owned and managed by Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) and sanctioned by FIFA through the domestic bodies of Canada Soccer and Ontario Soccer, League1 Ontario’s primary focus is the showcase and development of Canada’s future stars.
About Première ligue de soccer du Québec
The Première ligue de soccer du Québec is a semi-professional soccer league created in 2012 under the aegis of Soccer Québec. Affiliated with Canada Soccer, this is the highest soccer division in Québec and is recognized as a division 3 level in Canada.
About Canadian Soccer Business
Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) represents a suite of top-tier national assets that are core to the sport of soccer in Canada. This includes representation for all corporate partnerships and media rights (broadcast and distribution) related to Canada Soccer’s core assets including its national teams, along with all rights associated with the Canadian Premier League – Canada’s professional men’s soccer league that debuted coast-to-coast in April 2019.