Happy Halloween! Over the past two weeks, there’s been a lot of action throughout active leagues. The USL Post-Season has come to an end with New York Red Bulls II taking the top spot. The PLSQ have finished both their Cup & Season. Just yesterday, the NASL regular season came to a close. To top it all off, the MLS season finished off, and both the knock-out round and the first leg of the conference semi-finals have sprung some happy surprises for fans of Canadian soccer teams. Let’s see how the victories and losses have shuffled the ELO ratings.
Toronto FC remains top-dog for Canadian teams. Their knock-out round and 1st-leg victories have propelled them to being the favourite in the Eastern Conference. The Montreal Impact have managed to follow a similar path, with their recent spate of victories finally propelling them above the MLS-average. Both teams are currently sitting on victories after the 1st leg of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, with Toronto ahead by 2-goals and Montreal up by 1. Anything could happen in the 2nd leg, scheduled for November 6th.
In the NASL, FC Edmonton and Ottawa Fury FC both suffered a couple of losses as the season came to its close. Thankfully, it doesn’t matter too much for these ratings as the gap between the teams is more than substantial enough to keep them far-apart. FC Edmonton has advanced to the Soccer Bowl Semi-Finals, and will be matching up against Indy Eleven on November 5th. In contrast, the Ottawa Fury FC will be selling their players, ditching anything NASL, and preparing to launch themselves into the USL next season. If the USL gains 2nd-Division status from the USSF, we can expect to see the competition between FC Edmonton and Ottawa Fury continue on the ELO ratings, if not on the field. Fury insist they’ll be competing in the Canadian Championship, but we won’t know for sure until sometime in December.
USL’s Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 lost the evening after the previous ratings post. The end of their play-off dreams were still a new record for the club, and has firmly cemented their place atop the league and well-above any of the lower-divisions. With Ottawa entering the USL next-season as a non-reserve team, we can hope to see them providing some higher-quality competition for this top-position.
The PLSQ, the only league in semi-pro/pro soccer in Canada & the US to exist without some form of playoffs, has come to a close. Like many European leagues, the PLSQ winner is based upon the points from the season, and we’ve known the winner for a couple of weeks thanks to some outstanding league play. CS Mont-Royal Outremont were the league champions, but because of their early elimination from the PLSQ Cup, they sit in 2nd-place on the ELO-ratings. AS Blainville, the PLSQ Cup Champions, routed FC Gatineau this weekend 4-0 and cemented their position atop the ELO for the league.
The D3-Interprovincial Cup kicks off on November 5th with PLSQ’s CS Mont-Royal Outremont hosting L1O’s Vaughan Azzurri. The return leg will happen November 12th. L1O have taken the cup since its inception, but the consistent strength of CS Mont-Royal Outremont this season promises to make the competition more of a challenge. Vaughan, as the season, cup and play-off champions for L1O are favoured to win, but anything is possible.
By the next update, not only will we have Interprovincial Cup Champions, the NASL will also have wrapped up their Soccer Bowl. The MLS Conference Semi-Finals will be all wrapped up, and we’ll know if we can look forward to a 401-derby for the Eastern Conference Final. We’re hitting the final few matches, and there’s still a chance for a handful of teams to step higher in the ELO-ratings. If Toronto & Montreal tank, the mid-month update may be the last of 2016. Here’s hoping we’ll be posting these into December!