With our last update coming just before the resolution of the Voyageur’s Cup semi-finals, and four matches of the League1 Ontario Cup’s opening round, to say that some pretty big matches were played in the past couple weeks is a bit of an understatement. We’ve had some teams jump around pretty significantly on the table, while others have further solidified their top or bottom positions. Additionally, Thunder Bay Chill of the Premier Development League has finally begun play for the 2017 season, which means that, at the moment, all teams in all leagues are currently seeing matches.
We’ve also had some pretty significant news releases over the past few weeks. CanPL became official prior to the previous update, but now it looks as though the USA will be launching 2 new Division 3 leagues: USL D3 and the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA). Much like CanPL, there is little word on what teams will be starting in these leagues in 2018 or 2019, so we will need to keep an eye on what is developing. The leagues will fill a gap in our Elo-ratings, helping to bridge the distance between Division 4’s PDL and Division 2’s USL & NASL. Given that NISA is also planning to utilize promotion and relegation between NASL & NPSL (Division 4), I may also have to begin including those teams in my calculations. I’ll update the primer to reflect any changes as they are made apparent.
The stats & rankings below include all matches that happened prior to June 13th. Sadly as I was travelling BC the past few days, I was unable to get this all put together in time for publishing on the 14th.
Let’s start with the obvious. Toronto FC entered the 2nd leg of the Voyageur’s Cup with the intention of reasserting themselves, and they succeeded. Bringing on Giovinco for a short stint toward the end was a good chance to give him a run-out, and the 4-0 scoreline did a lot to show that the team they fielded in Ottawa for the first leg was not representative. That being said, Ottawa played quite well up until the first goal, when they basically collapsed. Sadly, TFC was unable to use the match to reignite their winning ways as they then fell, 3-0 to New England Revolution. In contrast, both Montreal and Vancouver won against NY Red Bulls (1-0) and Atlanta United (3-1) respectively.
Both TFC & VWC took the following weekend off, giving Montreal an opportunity to close some of the gap. Despite being short many of their top players, Impact were able to squeak out a draw against Sporting Kansas City. Although their draw did not greatly change the team’s standing, it did bump them slightly upward on the elo-rating, and given the players that founder their way onto the pitch, it shows there is more to Montreal than we saw in the first 3rd of the season.
As a result of NY Cosmos’ friendly in Saudi Arabia, FC Edmonton had a bit of a compressed schedule this past fortnight. They started with a trip to Puerto Rico, where they were decimated by a coachless team, 3-0. They followed that up with a mid-week match in New York, astounding everyone with a 4-2 victory. Considering NY really had no business travelling across the planet for a friendly draw no one cares about, Edmonton’s shock victory gave their fans a bit of a silver lining on a trip that never should have happened.
With Edmonton hosting Miami FC, the NASL’s top team this season, a victory was not expected. Heck, a draw was not expected. What was expected was a blowout with Miami destroying Edmonton. The Eddies managed to defy expectations and put on a close match against the American side, losing only by a single point. That leaves them bottom of the 2nd-division elo-ratings, but is a sign that the team may be turning around as we near the end of the Spring season.
Let’s start with the obvious. Toronto FC entered the 2nd leg of the Voyageur’s Cup with the intention of reasserting themselves, and they succeeded. Bringing on Giovinco for a short stint toward the end was a good chance to give him a run-out, and the 4-0 scoreline did a lot to show that the team they fielded in Ottawa for the first leg was not representative. That being said, Ottawa played quite well up until the first goal, when they basically collapsed.
Regular league action brought a lot of what we’ve come to expect. Toronto FC II lost, 2-0 to Saint Louis FC, continuing to be challenged to find the back of the net, let alone a win. Ottawa Fury FC drew against Bethlehem Steel, with either side scoring once. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 took a 1-goal victory from Portland Timbers 2.
In the second week of play Toronto FC II managed to score a goal. Sadly, it would not give them a win as Pittsburgh would also score a goal, leaving the Young Reds with a draw. The mini-caps would lose to Phoenix Rising by a goal. In contrast, Ottawa Fury FC would champion over Harrisburg City Islanders 1-0, despite Fury having been denied a very clear goal early in the 1st half. As a result, Fury continue to stand atop the 2nd-division elo-ratings and are now able to begin having a serious discussion about making the USL playoffs. Although no longer over 1300 points, as they were following the 1st-leg of the Canadian Championship semi-final, Ottawa is still at a very high 1285, just a mere 105 points behind Vancouver Whitecaps FC of the MLS.
May ended up 4 Cup matches to determine which teams would enter into the L1O Cup Quarterfinals. With TFCIII, Woodbridge Strikers, Vaughan Azzuri, and Master’s FA Saints having previously earned their place in Round 2, this series of matches would determine many of their opponents moving forward. North Mississuaga SC Panthers toppled Windsor TFC 2-0, Durham United FA dropped Oakville 1-0, and FC London managed a 2-0 victory over Aurora FC. The match between OSU Force & ProStars FC turned out to be far more competitive than anyone could realistically have expected, with Ottawa coming out on top by 1 goal in a 7-goal match.
Regular season play resumed on June 2nd, with 1-all draw between FC London and Windsor TFC. Sigma FC took down North Mississuaga SC 2-1. The next day, Master’s Futbol won on an identical scoreline over Toronto Skillz. Oakville Blue Devils defeated Sanjaxx Lions in a 1-goal match. TFCIII defeated ProStars FC, as expected, 3-0. That’s it for the low-scoring matches from the first weekend. The remaining 4-matches all saw at least 5 goals, with Aurora dropping at home to Vaughan (2-4), Woodbridge conquering Ottawa (4-1), and North Toronto squeaking past Durham (3-2).
This past weekend was marked by a trio of draws: Durham United FA vs Master’s Futbol, Sigma FC vs FC London, and Windsor TFC vs TFC III. There were also a number of relatively close matches as Toronto Skillz fell by 1 goal to Aurora FC, North Mississuaga won by a single goal over Sanjaxx Lions, and Vaughan Azzurri took a 2-goal victory over Woodbridge Strikers. Of course, League1 Ontario wouldn’t be L1O without a couple of high-scoring blowout matches. This weekend, Oakville Blue Devils went up 6-1 over ProStars FC, while North Toronto Nitros put OSU Force into a time-out with a 5-1 victory.
Two weekends of play in Premier Ligue de Soccer du Quebec brought some predictable results as teams solidify their positions at the top & bottom of the table. FC Lanaudiere defeated CS St Hubert 5-1, while Dynamo de Quebec dropped an 0-2 decision to AS Blainville. CSMRO & FC Gatineau managed a 1-all tie on June 4th, continuing to create questions about what has happened to CS Mont-Royal Outremont between seasons.
This past weekend, Dynamo drew against FC Lanaudiere (2-2). Since neither Dynamo nor CS St Hubert has managed a victory this season, a draw must feel pretty good at this point. AS Blainville triumphed over CS Longueuil (1-0), while CS Mont-Royal Outremont threw out CS St Hubert’s coleslaw with a 3-0 victory.
With the Premier Development League having a tight-season, there were a lot of matches. Action started in the NW Division as TSS FC Rovers hosted a 1-1 draw against Portland Timbers U23. Victoria hosted a double-header against Calgary, falling 0-1 and 1-3 as well as losing #18 PDL Top Prospect Callum Montgomery to a brutal hit on an offensive play that resulted in a concussion. In the Heartland Division, WSA Winnipeg hosted a double-header against Thunder Bay Chill. Winnipeg was very accommodating to the visiting side on their 1st two matches of 2017, giving Thunder Bay a pair of victories (0-1, and 0-3). K-W United, in the Great Lakes Division defeated Dayton Dutch Lions 2-0 on June 4th, and followed that up with a 3-0 victory over Derby City Rovers on June 7th.
Canadian teams in the NW Division took the following week off. Thunder Bay started off their 2nd weekend of play with a double-header against Des Moines Menace. They were defeated the American club by a single goal on the Friday night before winning with two goals on the Saturday. The immediate vengeance certainly helped Thunder Bay close the gap on the elo-ratings, and should help see the team take points as their season progresses. K-W United would continue to roll through the Great Lakes Division with a 5-2 victory over Cincinnati Dutch Lions. Des Moines travelled to Winnipeg and took 3 points from WSA Winnipeg after winning 3-1 on Tuesday night.
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And that’s the round-up for this 2-week period. Expect our next report on June 28th.
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