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Initial B

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  1. I assumed when the CPL talks of instituting pro-rel at 16 teams, they would split those 16 teams. So are you saying they would institute pro-rel with the teams following? Who would those handful of new teams play against for the first few years? Div 2 supporters would probably get bored facing off against the same teams 6-7 times per season. If an even split is so unappealing to you, then how would you split so there are enough teams in Div 2? You can't have a 10-team Div 1 and a 6-team Div 2. The only other option I can see would be to focus on building up Div 3 to a CHL-style structure with L1O, PLSQ, and western counterpart, then groom some of those teams to be ready for the jump to a regional Div 2. After some suitable preparation time, relegate some of the clubs from Div 1 and promote the groomed Div 3 teams to make an initial Div 2.
  2. ted, your comment about 16 teams got me to thinking about talent dilution. I agree that 16 teams would probably be ideal, but I'm not sure how much talent Canada has at this point not just in players, but in coaches. I would rather have a smaller number of clubs playing the best against best than games where you may end up with a bunch of blowouts when top and bottom ranked teams meet. As quality increases, *then* increase the number of teams in the first division. Maybe we could someday end up like Sweden's Allsvenskan, with a season that lasts between the April and November International breaks, 16 teams, 30 games, and ranked 14th in the world.
  3. I guess the implementation of pro-rel depends on how long the CPL keeps a salary cap in place. If the salary cap is permanent, then there should be no reason why any team would be better than any other team in terms of quality, so being top or bottom of the league could be due to good/back luck or injuries. Not exactly fair to relegate in a parity league and the loss of media revenue/exposure could be devastating. Then again, not having a Division 2 might make it harder for new clubs to enter the league and won't provide an additional pathway for young players to take the next step along the development ladder. However, maybe it's not needed since CPL is scouting L1O for the best talent to promote to their clubs. I remember Anthony Totera mentioning in his Ottawa talk that a lot of players from other provinces are coming to play in L1O for the quality and exposure. And it's not just players, but where are we going to get quality coaches for these teams? Hmmm... may the pro-rel they're talking about isn't for clubs joining new divisions, but for players purchased/released by clubs instead. Clubs are just a means to an end for player development for the national team, so clubs should be given priority based on geographic location and population density with localized pairs of clubs to develop rivalries. If forced to limit the CPL to 16 clubs, I would choose Pacific-Mainland BC, Cavalry-FCE, Saskatchewan-Valour, London-Kitchener, Forge-York 9, Ottawa-Laval-Quebec City, Moncton-Halifax-St John's.
  4. An 8-team Div 1 would allow a 28-game double home-and-away balanced schedule. 10 teams would be too large for that, so it would have to be 3 games against every other club. But that could limit the number of teams to relegate - 2 teams relegated from an 8-team div is a 25% relegation rate when most national leagues have between a 15-20% relegation rate so there could be some heavy strains on clubs to perform or go down, which might have financial repercussions on the owners. At least there would be no middle table malaise: A club would either be fighting for a CL spot or fighting relegation. There would be no middle ground. Might be good for development or might hinder it if coaches feel pressured to play their best players only. As for your planned structure, I think there is too much of a gap if you go straight from regional leagues to a national league. A second division should be the bridge that allows clubs to adjust to the demands from regional to national travel. It should require about half the amount of national travelling as Div 1 and a fair amount of the Regional Travelling as Div 3. I wouldn't make it too big either, just enough that you could start instituting pro rel between Div 3 and Div 2 clubs as well. If you stayed with a 8-team Div 1 with a 28 game season, then to keep a 28 game season in Div 2, you could have 3 conferences of 4 teams each - play home-and-away against every other conference and play double home-and-away matches against in-conference clubs. At the Div 3 level, you will have the professional equivalent of L1O, PLSQ, and whatever western league they manage to cobble together together. It's at *this* level that I'd put any club reserve teams. So for structure it would be... Div 1: 8-club single table; Div 2: 12-clubs in 3 conferences; Div 3: Three regional leagues with no interleague play, preferably 8 teams each. Does that sound doable?
  5. To me, this makes an argument for Pro-Rel. The sooner the CPL can split off an 8-team First Division (CPL Elite?)with teams who have the financial means for multiple cross-country road trips, the better. I think it's imperative that the First Division stabilize as quickly as possible. Then the Second Division (CPL Championship?) would become the more fluid entry level with less travelling and easier for new clubs to jump into, expanding and contracting as the fortunes of clubs turn.
  6. St John's is roughly the size of Regina and Saskatoon, so I don't see why a club there wouldn't succeed
  7. That's the thing - I'm getting the feeling that the Fury's decision to stay in USL this year was a business decision, but the CPL has taken it personally, which has led to nonconstructive things being said. I just hope we're not going to see Canadian Soccer politics rear its ugly head again. I thought we were over that crap.
  8. He was talking mostly to the young players and their parents about what they needed to do to get on the radar of CPL clubs and college coaches. He also talked a bit about their scouting network. It seems that the CPL is developing their own scouting network apart from the Provincial and National associations. I'm think this is a great idea because there are so many players that seem to fall through the cracks of the ID camps. St Anthony is the oldest club in the Ottawa area and located in Little Italy, but there are also a couple of local academies like KNSA and Futuro that are affiliated with them. I estimate there were about 50-60 people with seating for about 120, but the weather was absolute crap so that might be the reason for the relatively low attendance.
  9. Wembley hosts concerts and things and protects the turf using a hard raised overlay before laying down items on top the the field. Works for about a week at a time. Shouldn't be a problem.
  10. I was at a meeting on the weekend in Ottawa where Anthony Totera was giving a talk about CPL to a bunch of parents and their kids. When asked about the Fury, he said he couldn't talk about *anything* regarding them because the situation was still too fresh and hot. Maybe in a couple of years he said. My gut feel is that the Fury would be okay with joining the CPL in a year or two, but the CPL may not be. The tension between the two viewpoints feels... weird and odd. I can't explain it.
  11. I don't know where you're getting that from. Nationwide, OCTranspo is considered one of the best systems, but also with the most expensive fares. The cost is usually the biggest complaint, sure we grumble when the snowstorms knock the schedules out of whack, but it's pretty efficient otherwise.
  12. I meant to mention that I was at the Ottawa Fury SSH event on Monday and there was a Q&A period where the past year was brought up and JdG was pretty supportive of the CPL. Talking offline, I had a chance to voice my concerns to some of the staff. What they said was that it all came down to money. They paid an expansion fee to join the NASL, lost that when they joined the USL and paid another expansion fee. They estimate the current valuation of the club at around $7.1 million. From what I understood, it looks like the USL believes there are a number of locations in the US that want a club, but the USL Championship is eventually going to stop expanding and have new clubs join at the USL1 level. The Fury believe that if they did make the Jump to CPL and it failed, they would be not be allowed back to the USL because their spot would be snapped up and with no league to play, they would be forced to fold. This is something that supporters should consider - if CPL fails, there is no option for the remaining viable clubs to join an american league, so I'm praying that it is successful. They also mentioned that OSEG had spent $22 million on upgrades on the club up to this point and didn't want to lose the work they put into it. I can confirm, because when I went on a tour of the South Stand construction back in 2013, both the Fury and the RedBlacks had their own separate locker rooms and training areas being built. When I consider the failed trajectories of Canadian professional soccer leagues over the past 3 decades, I understand their reticence. They said that if forced, they would obviously have to join the CPL, but they hope to see it successful and join at the point that makes the most business sense to them and pay the franchise fee. Quite a few of the attendee conversations I overheard wanted to see the Fury in CPL sooner than later, because they felt more invested cheering against Canadian cities than American ones.
  13. Carleton's stadium would be perfect because it's 200 metres from an O-train station. The transit options for this location are great. It would need permanent concessions and washroom facilities, though.
  14. I'm heading to pick up my Fury tickets tonight. We're allowed to ask questions of the coach and GM. Any ideas on what I should ask them? I was thinking of asking if there was any truth to the rumour that GMs and Coaches also fall under the CPL salary cap. I was also going to ask if they don't get sanctioning next year and the options are join CPL or fold, which will ownership choose?
  15. Perhaps they're planning on laying down some form of removable geo-tile over the track portion of the stadium to allow for moveable bleachers to be rolled on top?
  16. BC already has the PCSL at Div 4, don't they?
  17. True, but I think the CPL has made certain statements and they don't want public perception of backtracking for at least the first couple of years. I think we're looking at Apertura/Clausura at least until they split Div 1 and Div 2. The fact that they're starting using the same format the NASL did makes me think the Faths have had some influence on league structure and growth plan using their experiences in that league.
  18. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see an MB/SK Div 3 league. But the question is: Do they have enough locations in close enough proximity that can meet L1O/PLSQ-level standards to make it viable?
  19. I understand that it's unbalanced, and you can't fight that while the league expands and teams don't fall within certain multiples. But does the general public (who they're trying to convert) care? I think the CPL execs realize that they will not have a 28-game, completely fair schedule until they get First Division to either 8 or 15 teams. Once that Div 1 stability is reached, they'll start working on doing the same at Div 2, even as it expands. In the meantime, they will continue with the Apertura/Clausura format and have playoffs without calling them as such (though I understand not wanting the general public's perception thinking playoffs will be normal for the CPL). It's also why I think the CPL will split into Div 1 and Div 2 as soon as it is viable to do so, which would be at 16 total teams.
  20. Maybe population density is the key. Ontario has almost triple the population density of Quebec, but the majority of it is in either the Golden Horseshoe or Ottawa. And most of the L1O teams are in the GTA - eastern Ontario teams have struggled to be viable with even that moderate travel involved. The majority of the PLSQ teams are located around Montreal. Maybe we can't cover the entire country and shouldn't even try. What if we concentrate Div 3 clubs into specific areas of high population density, regardless of provincial boundaries? In my mind, that's 5 areas with close to two-thirds of the Canadian population: Vancouver Island-Lower Mainland Edmonton-Calgary Corridor GTA-Southwestern Ontario Ottawa-Quebec City Corridor Maritime Capitals Triangle Apologies to NL, MB, SK, and the rest of Canada but perhaps they don't have enough density to sustain viable D3 Leagues.
  21. I don't see any way around having to reorganize the east-west Div 2 leagues annually. My guess is that Ontario will be the splitting point (and maybe occasionally Winnipeg), with some teams in the east and some in the west. Alternatively, they could instead have fluid east and west conferences with limited play between them, say one game against clubs in the opposing conference and the remaining games in conference (à la MLS). Playoffs would be a 2-leg match between the first and second place teams in opposing conferences with the winners getting promoted. You could have less than 16 teams in that format and they wouldn't necessarily have to be an even number either. Do you think most teams could be expected to handle 3-4 team flights a year? But this would only work until you have a full Div 2, and then you would have to fix the number of teams per division or it becomes unfair with Div 2/3 pro-rel. I'm hoping that by the time it gets to that point, Div 1 will have developed an equilibrium of East-West teams so that the Div 2 regions would be stable. The Div 3 Leagues would be of variable size so the relegated Div 2 club could just slot into its local Div 3. The overall Div 3 East and West Champions could be decided in a Memorial Cup-style tournament.
  22. That's the beauty of the Apertura/Clausura, you don't have to have a balanced schedule, just choose the number of games you want to play, divide the season in half and the winner of each half has a chance to win the title. NASL used it even as it added additional teams, so why not CPL while it fleshes out its structure?
  23. I'm not sure about rebranding any Div 3 league to be "League 1 <Insert region here>". If the CPL is all about individual identity then the leagues underneath should be like that as well. It's okay for the CPL to acquire the leagues, but they should each have an individual character. Looking at the size of Alberta, I never realized that it's almost 1000 km from Grande Prairie to Medicine Hat. If we wanted to keep travel costs manageable at Div 3, then Alberta should be it's own League. Manitoba and Saskatchewan could probably get away with a League between the two of them (population and distance-wise). Likewise for the Maritimes and Newfoundland (so long as they got subsidized by CPL for Ferry trips). So at the Div 3 Level, Canada would have: BCRT3 - Whenever they get it off the ground AMSL - Seems like a logical next step Prairie Div 3 - To handle SK/MB L1O - Which might be subdivided further into individual East and West PLSQ - All of Quebec Atlantic Div 3 - For NB, NS, PEI, and NL. CPL, CSA, and provincial associations would do well to build Div 1 and Div 3 concurrently, and when the time is right, perhaps take the worst performing Div 1 teams and the best performing Div 3 teams and create two or three Regional Div 2 Leagues between them. Div 1 - National (8 clubs, 28 games, balanced schedule, 2 relegated) Div 2 - East and West (each with 8 clubs, 28 games, balanced schedule, 1 promoted, 1 relegated) Div 3 - Provincial (6 Leagues, various number of clubs and games, Tournament to determine promotions from East and West) That's about as bare bones as a pyramid structure can get. The question then becomes, can Canada publicly and corporately support 24 professional teams? More importantly, would those Div 3 clubs work as academies for the CPL clubs, with affiliations like the USL has with MLS? <Edit: Just realized Kent mentioned the Div 1/3 idea earlier. Give credit where credit is due.>
  24. I've been doing some thinking about the purpose of the CPL. My son is always trying to play at the highest level in order to play against the best. The more clubs you have a top level, the more diluted the product becomes. If CPL kept Div 1 small (8-10 clubs), then theoretically the best players would gravitate towards those Div 1 clubs, refining the level of play faster and faster. Those that couldn't keep up would get relegated to Div 2 until they could take another run at playing with the best. With 6 Canadians guaranteed to start on each club, an 8-team Div 1 would have 48 players playing at the highest level outside MLS. Additionally, my research showed that many of the best nations have leagues where they relegate 20% of the teams from Div 1 every season. If an 8-club Div 1 relegated 2 clubs per season, that would be a 25% changeover. Imagine the stresses to perform on the players in those clubs where if you aren't playing for a title, you're fighting off relegation. There would be no middle ground. Those nation's with second divisions, getting promoted almost invariably involve playoffs - usually the first team in a single table is automatically promoted, but there are usually playoffs for the spots below. As CPL adds more teams, having a fluid Div 2 structure would allow those teams to learn the ropes at a lower level while keeping the format stable at the top, so fans, players, and media alike all know the annual dates for all important events and matches. Sorry for the rambling post - my stream of consciousness thinking is going off on all sorts of tangents lately regarding the CPL.
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