This past weekend saw the USL regular season come to a close. With a couple days between now and the beginning of the playoffs, this seems like the perfect time to update the Canadian Soccer Team ELO scores. It’s been quite a couple of weeks, and we’ve seen some movement in a somewhat unexpected places.
Let’s start at the top: Toronto FC, who have now clinched their spot in the MLS playoffs thanks to their recent tie against Philadelphia Union, remain top of the Canadian heap. There is no question that TFC has had a phenomenal year. Somewhat surprisingly, the 2nd and 3rd positions have swapped place this week, with Vancouver Whitecaps managing a loss and a tie, while Montreal Impact’s double-loss, including one at home, have dropped it in the ratings. Both teams continue their below-average performances in the MLS, but the recent slide by Impact is troubling for their fans.
In spite of the numerous concerning rumours around the NASL, the league’s Canadian teams managed to do quite well the past couple weeks. FC Edmonton remains above the NASL average, despite a tie and a loss on the road. They also remain 4th overall in the Canadian ELO Ratings. Ottawa Fury FC, despite the mystery of next year’s league and their dissolution of the academy, managed to finish off their string of ties with a pair of commanding victories over MLS-bound Minnesota United. As a result, the team has jumped up to just below the league’s average, and sits in 5th place for the NASL fall-season.
With the regular season now at an end for the 3rd division USL, Vancouver Whitecaps FC2 have managed to sneak their way into the playoffs, and ended the season just over the USL average at 1008.047. They’ll be in Colorado Springs facing the Switchbacks on September 30th. The other Canadian reserve teams missed the playoffs with scores that would fit them well if they were in 4th-division PDL, instead of USL. Toronto FC II finishes their year with 929.651 points, just above FC Montreal’s 922.647. Both teams are under the PDL’s Calgary Foothills FC (939.399), but above K-W United (918.013). Although the drop is very disappointing for TFCII fans, FCM fans have got to be thankful for the year-end turn-around that boosted the team up from a depressing score in the 890s.
League 1 Ontario saw a number of matches, but the top-3 remain the same: Vaughan Azzurri, Woodbridge Strikers, Durham United FA.
FC London London TFC suffered a setback as a result of a massive blowout by the suddenly fantastic TFC Academy. At the same time, the North Toronto Nitros, now 4th by ELO rating in L1O, managed a pair of victories that put them as a new league contender. With TFC now having partnerships with Windsor TFC (formerly Windsor Stars) and London TFC (formerly(?) FC London), the league is quickly becoming TFC’s farm-league. Although investments and partnerships are good for the individual clubs, questions have to be raised about L1O’s future as an independent league given TFC’s recent “partnerships.”
The PLSQ also saw some great play in the past couple of weeks. The top 3 remain unchallenged, with AS Blainville, CS Mont-Royal Outremont, and FC Gatineau remaining as #1, #2, and #3 respectively. The big shocker in this league comes from the outgoing Ottawa Fury Academy. With a decent performance in their 5-2 loss to CS Mont-Royal Outremont, and a 4-0 emphatic victory over CS Longueuil, this is some of the best play we’ve seen from the team all year. Sadly, the Ottawa Fury have announced that their academy will be folding at the end of the season. It has been hinted that a relaunch may come “in a few years,” but given all the questions around the Fury at the moment, no one can even guess what form that will take.
Will the Fury Academy continue to perform shockingly well over the last few weeks of PLSQ play? With their NASL team emerge as a spoiler for the NASL post-season? Can Vancouver Whitecaps FC2 make a good run in the USL playoffs? Can Montreal Impact recover and overtake the Vancouver Whitecaps for 2nd place in these ELO rankings? We’ll have a few answers mid-October as league and playoffs roll along. Check back in a couple weeks for the next round of ELO ratings.