2016 Top Canadian Soccer Teams – L1O & USL pre-Final Edition (15 Oct)

It’s been a bit of a ride the last couple of weeks. Vancouver Whitecaps FC2 have advanced to the USL Western Conference Final. FC Edmonton secured a place in the NASL Championship playoffs. Toronto FC have secured their place in the MLS playoffs. And on top of all that, FC London emerged to top the “West” in L1O, aiming to go up against the winners of the “East” & the 2016 L1O Cup, Vaughan Azzurri. The fun is just beginning, so let’s have a look at how the numbers fell this week.

14_10_2016_eloAt the top-level, Toronto FC remains the undisputed king of professional soccer in Canada.  They’ve dropped a few points in the rankings, but are still well above the nearest Canadian competition. Montreal Impact managed to regain their 2nd-place position thanks to a win on their side, and a loss by the Vancouver Whitecaps.  The Whitecaps have been eliminated from playoff contention for some time now, but Montreal is still in the running and currently would be the #4 seed.

In the NASL, there are no major changes. FC Edmonton had jumped up in score last week, but their loss to Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Wednesday put them almost back where they started. The Fury slipped a little further in the ratings, and can now be solidly counted as being out of the playoffs. Technically, they could still make it, but some true miracles would have to occur to see such a huge change in fortune, both for the Fury and all the teams above them in the standings.

Only the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 continue to play for the USL, with TFCII & FC Montreal both failing to qualify. VWFC2 managed to win their first two matches, and will now be facing the Swope Park Rangers in the Western Conference Finals tonight. If they triumph, they will be the first Canadian USL team to go all the way to the USL Final, and potentially pull off a major upset. Their success through the playoffs has boosted their standing. Even if they were to lose against Swope, VWFC2 has a lot to be proud of this season. The Western Conference Final is tonight, and the USL Final is on October 23rd, so by our next report, the USL will be all wrapped up.

PLSQ continues to move along, with no real change in the top 3: AS Blainville, CS Mont-Royal Outremont, and FC Gatineau. The bottom two, FC Lanaudiere and CS Longueuil have swapped positions, with Ottawa Fury Academy continuing to sit just slightly above them.

Finally, let’s talk L1O. Last update we questioned the London TFC / FC London announcement and it was cleared up with a later article from the club: FC London remains with their name, and are completely independent of TFC. The agreement merely helps TFC to ID prospective players for future consideration and share coaching/training best practices. With the team & leagues independence no longer in question, I’m somewhat saddened to say the regular season has come to a close. Vaughan Azzurri, the L1O Cup winners, have triumphed in the “East”, while FC London has triumphed in the “West.” This year, L1O will have a single-match final, happening later on today. The victor of today’s match will face the PLSQ champion for the Inter-provincial Cup in a home & away series in November.

This concludes the moves from the past two weeks. With our final ELO-ratings mid or late November, we’ve only a few more updates remaining. Already, we’ve begun retooling for the 2017 year, so if you have some ideas on how we should alter our ELO format, feel free to contact us through editor@northernstartingeleven.com . We know we’ll be changing the starting positions, home-field advantage, match weighting, and we’ll even be trying to account for home & away aggregate matches, so useful suggestions on the alterations are most welcome. See you around November 1st!

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Shawn Gray

Shawn Gray

Shawn Gray is an experienced author who has previously published articles on transit, cycling & politics. With a Bachelor of Arts (English) degree, a Bachelor of Education degree, an Event Management graduate certificate, and two years of Business Administration, his education has helped him connect with a variety of people, through numerous industries. In 2014, he was a Team Lead in the Club Section of TD Place, where the Ottawa Fury host matches. Now located in Victoria, British Columbia, Gray enjoys the local PDL matches, and tries to watch his favourite clubs online with his infant son whenever possible.

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