2017 Best Canadian Soccer Teams – End-June Update

It’s been a huge couple of weeks. League1 Ontario has plowed through their Cup competition’s quarterfinals, while the Voyageur’s Cup came to a fiery conclusion just last night. With league play ongoing throughout all the leagues, including a congested PDL schedule. I’m trying a little something different, with some divisional charts showing the point spread. The full stats & ranking can be found at the bottom. These results include all matches that happened prior to June 28th.

Toronto FC continued their ongoing string of positive results in league action. With 2-0 wins over DC United & New England Revolution, it’s fairly safe to say that barring some big injuries, TFC will be sitting at or near the top of the league for the remainder of the year. They’re certainly quite some distance ahead of the other Canadian teams.

Montreal Impact only played a single league match, dropping a 4-1 decision to Columbus Crew. This greatly knocked the team down in their elo-ratings, but kept them just above the MLS-League average.

Vancouver drew twice, with a 1-1 at home against FC Dallas and a 2-2 on the road against Minnesota United FC. Although this did allow them to pick up a few fractions of a point in the Elo-ratings, it did little to alter their position in these standings.

Finally, the Canadian Championship final held both of its legs over this period. With the first match ending in a 1-1 draw in Montreal, it came down to last night’s match to determine who could raise the Voyageur’s Cup in 2017. Both sides came out fighting, and it wouldn’t be the Voyageur’s Cup if there wasn’t some drama to round out the match. First a clear penalty is ignored by the referee, and then Bernier is sent off with a red for something that should have been a yellow at most. It was the dying minutes of injury time when Toronto FC managed their 2nd home goal to win the match 2-1, and the Voyageur’s Cup 3-2 on aggregate. As a result, Toronto’s elo-rating skyrocketed, while Montreal’s was sent back down where it was prior to defeating Vancouver in the semifinals.

With the Voyageur’s Cup now complete, Toronto FC stands well above the other Canadian franchises. Vancouver has regained the 2nd position as a result of Montreal’s dramatic drop. With Montreal sitting last-place in the East while Vancouver is playing just below the cut-off line, the Voyageur’s Cup has helped push these teams back toward more representative ratings.

FC Edmonton, despite showing record support in the seats, just can’t seem to do much on the field. They faced San Francisco Deltas twice, once at home and once in San Francisco, and they managed to lose both matches without scoring. That’s some devastating play for the Eddies, who have really got to be thinking about who they can buy during the summer transfer window.

Ottawa Fury FC saw a trio of matches over the past couple weeks. With a 1-0 victory over Rochester Rhinos and a 1-0 triumph against Orlando City B, the team has a lot to be happy about. Their final match over the past couple weeks, against NY Red Bulls II, ended with a 2-2 draw, which is still quite respectable. Ottawa is definitely looking to make a run at the USL playoffs, and certainly stand top amongst 2nd-division Canadian teams. The only thing that must be disappointing for Ottawa at the moment is with Canada’s Gold Cup roster. There were no players from the Ottawa Fury that managed to make the roster for the Gold Cup’s group stage.

As for the reserve squads, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 lost to Sacramento republic, 2-1, and managed to draw against OKC Energy FC. Despite being a reserve team, the Mini-Caps continue to be competitive, hovering just below the league-average. In contrast, Toronto FC II continues to demonstrate how not to play soccer. The young reds were demolished, 6-1, by Charleston Battery, and continue to drop further down the table.

As always, there was a lot of action in League1 Ontario, and a lot of the matches were very high scoring. First, let’s take a quick look at the results from the L1O Cup quarterfinals. FC London were shut out by 3-goal scoring Woodbridge Strikers. Durham United managed to eliminate OSU Force, 3-1, sending the expansion side back to the nation’s capitol to focus on league play. Vaughan Azzurri, the favourites for the cup at this point, dominated Master’s FA Saints with a 6-1 scoreline. Vaughan will face Durham, while Woodbridge faces North Mississuaga on July 12th.

In the 1st weekend of league action, North Toronto Nitros shut out ProStars FC while scoring 4 goals. Sigma won a surprisingly close match against Master’s Futbol, 3-2. Oakville Blue Devils sent expansion-side OSU Force packing after defeating them 4-2. Sanjaxx Lions defeated Toronto Skillz 2-1. Finally, TFC III demolished Aurora FC 7-0, which is starting to raise some serious questions about the gap between play quality in this league.

The second weekend of play brought many more high-scoring matches. The Durham United vs TFC III match was close, coming in at 2-1 for the baby reds, but OSU Force trounced ProStars FC 8-2. Aurora fell by 1-goal to visiting North Mississuaga, as did Toronto Skillz to Sigma and North Toronto Nitros to Oakville Blue Devils. Vaughan triumphed 2-0 over Windsor TFC, while Woodbridge Strikers and FC London drew with 1-goal each.

There were a couple of match cancellations over the past couple of weeks. As a result, only 4-matches were played in an already small league. Dynamo de Quebec managed their first victory with a 3-2 triumph over CS St Hubert, the other newcomers. AS Blainville continued to dominate, this time with a 3-1 win over CS Mont-Royal Outremont. If Blainville continues their winning ways, we may end up being able to crown them the league-winner quite early this year, much as CS Mont-Royal Outremont were declared PLSQ champions very early last season.

In the 2nd week of play, both matches resulted in 2-2 draws. Neither CS Longueuil or FC Lanaudiere could solve the visiting CS St Hubert or CS Mont-Royal Outremont.

As usual, there were a lot of matches in the schedule-compact Premier Development League. Thunder Bay Chill started off this period with a 1-0 loss to Des Moines Menace. They more than redeemed themselves with a pair of wins against WSA Winnipeg, dropping the team from Manitoba 5-0 and 4-1 in their back-to-back matches.

K-W United played a trio of matches in rapid succession. They triumphed 1-0 over Derby City Rovers on June 19th, fell to Cincinnati Dutch Lions 2-1 on the 21st, and then drew against Dayton Dutch Lions on 23rd. Kitchener-Waterloo remains top of their division, and top of the PDL’s section of the Elo-ratings.

Calgary Foothills FC continued to dominate in the Northwest Division. They started with a 1-1 draw against Lane United, but finished off this stretch of matches with a double-win against Sounders FC U-23, with 2-1 and 1-0 scorelines. Victoria Highlanders FC dropped 2-1 to Portland Timbers U-23 before heading into this past weekend’s double header against TSS FC Rovers. With the Juan de Fuca Plate on the line, Victoria took the first match, 1-0, but were demolished by TSS on Sunday 3-1. The Juan de Fuca Plate will be decided July 9th in Victoria, marking the 1st time the plate will not be awarded on the mainland.


Select additional tabs above to switch league summaries.

Closing

And that’s the round-up for this 2-week period. Expect our next report on July 12th. With the US Open Cup continuing, we have seen some shifting in the league averages. If the MLS-sides eliminate the last of the USL/NASL sides in this round, I should be able to talk a little about how the different leagues compared to one another, and how that has affected the elo-ratings averages. As an important point of reference, Christos FC, with the set elo of 600 due to their amateur division, defeated a number of teams in higher divisions, which has had a pretty profound impact.

If you’re really excited about keeping up to date on Elo-ratings, consider donating on Patreon. Although these update articles come out twice-monthly, all patrons will receive weekly Elo-rating updates, which may provide a better view of a team’s trends throughout the year. There are other Patreon benefits available as well, and we aim to add more as we are able.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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