PLSQ Takes Many Steps Forward in 2017

Spring has undeniably arrived: the Première ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ) has recently revealed its 2017 schedule. Once again, seven clubs will battle it out in the top league of the province. Here are a few things to look out for this season.

The Newbies
Despite the disappearance of the Fury FC Academy and Lakeshore, seven clubs will again face one another this season thanks to a couple of newcomers. First, the long-awaited arrival of Dynamo de Québec, who will take the field this year for its inaugural season in PLSQ. The Québec City region soccer fans are ecstatic and will be able to support their new team on three different fields this year, mainly at PEPS (Université Laval) and Honco Soccer Complex (Lévis). The team will even play one home game about one hour south of the city, in Saint-Georges, where it will face AS Blainville on June 3. The Dynamo will play its first-ever game May 14 in Lévis against current champion Mont-Royal Outremont.

Like a lightning strike out of the blue, CS Saint-Hubert surprised everyone this winter by announcing that they would field a team in PLSQ starting in 2017. The idea of a South Shore derby against CS Longueuil makes everyone eager. Fortunately, supporters will not have to wait long for the first matchup between the two clubs: Saint-Hubert will host Longueuil on May 6 in the opening game of the season. Saint-Hubert will play its home games at Parc Rosanne-Laflamme.

Some New and Interesting Developments
Apart from the arrival of new clubs in the league, the biggest change that has everyone talking in the local soccer community is the Canadian Championship reform slated for 2018. The PLSQ champion (as well as the League 1 Ontario winners) will from now on qualify for the Canadian Championship of the following year. However, this long-awaited announcement by the Canadian Soccer Association made victim:  the Division 3 Interprovincial Cup is now a thing of the past. Details on the participation of PLSQ and L1O clubs in the Canadian Championship haven’t been officially revealed yet.

Another important change to note: FC Gatineau was taken over by, AS Hull. The region had agreed to launch and take care of the team until a club was ready to take charge. It is now done. Although ASH has taken control, the team will keep its name. However, it now has a new logo and new colours.

 

The Schedule
Alongside the South Shore derby, the first weekend of the season will put Cup winners AS Blainville under the spotlight, hosting the new version of FC Gatineau on May 6. The next day will see League champions CS Mont-Royal Outremont hosting FC Lanaudière. The Dynamo will start its season the following week, at home against CSMRO. The first matchup between Cup winners and league winners is scheduled for June 18, when Blainville hosts the “Griffons”.

Like Québec, FC Lanaudière will also play its home games on three different fields. Stade municipal in Joliette, Centre multisports in Terrebonne and Parc André-Courcelles in L’Assomption will each host their share the action.

For the full schedule, click here.

The Cup
The PLSQ CUP is naturally part of the program this season, but this time with a twist due to the Jeux de la Francophonie being held this summer. With the stakes now being higher due to the Canadian Championship spot available, the league decided to devote the last three weeks of July to Cup play, so that no team would be at a disadvantage in League play should some of their key players be called up to play in the Jeux de la Francophonie. The first and second legs of round 1 will be played on July 15-16 and July 22-23 respectively, and the first leg of the semi-finals will be played the following weekend, on July 29. Second legs of the semi-finals will be played on September 9 while the final will be held, as usual, after the last weekend of League play (October 28).

2016 Cup winners, AS Blainville, will start its Cup run in the semis, which means the team will have a two-week rest period during the second half of the month of July. Can coach Emmanuel Macagno and its men take advantage of it?

Here are the Cup brackets for  2017:

Clearly, a wind of positivity has been blowing on PLSQ fields for a while, but the upcoming season adds quite a bit to it. The overall interest in the league has been boosted by the fact that its champion will gain access to a bigger national competition. The new clubs are brimming with confidence and will be creating new rivalries. Clubs are now benefiting from better visibility, which could largely increase this season. And from now on, the bigger clubs will not have the option of overlooking their PLSQ counterparts, since they could eventually have to face them in the Canadian Championship. Everything is set for a memorable season. Who will win the right to prove its worth in the Canadian Championship? We’ll know at the end of October!

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Eric Chenoix

Eric Chenoix

Freelance translator by trade, Eric has been a soccer enthusiast since his childhood in Belgium. Eric is an avid Standard Liège, Everton FC and Montreal Impact supporter. As a former member of Ultras Montréal for nearly 10 years, Eric has lived his soccer passion. Eric has written for the Première Ligue de Soccer du Québec website since the league’s foundation in 2012 and now is the editor of Capitaine Soccer, the official blog of the Quebec Soccer Federation.

2 thoughts on “PLSQ Takes Many Steps Forward in 2017

  • April 4, 2017 at 9:46 am
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    The PLSQ is good on paper but the horrible rules makes it hard to take it seriously.
    Since when a player who has played with team X in Cup competition and then joined team Y after his team was eliminated?
    Pathetic.

  • April 11, 2017 at 8:29 am
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    every year I ask kids at Montreal soccer camps if they know what PLSQ is and if I get one who does, its a good thing.
    there is zero visibility.
    zero in mainstream media and zero attempts to advertize to a soccer base than has twice the amount of players than hockey. The old provincial league in the 80-90s used to have those little calendars that they would send to clubs.
    i had some friends and their kids over last year we tried watching last years finals on youtube but it was a horrible, sloppy game than was made even worse because they were playing on a narrow indoor field so you had no wing play. after the first half, we let the kids do what they wanted because they had zero interest.

    we actually go see my cousins in Kingston a couple of times each summer and watch CSL games there which seem to be more entertaining and we go see senior AA games at the parc close by to our place so Im not a soccer snob. if there is a good U17 game going on while were at a prk, well watch it.
    wasting time traveling to the closest team, spending gas, paying for games isnt a problem if the product is worth it but Im just as entertained when I watch other leagues. I worked in Trois-Rivieres when the Attack was there and enjoyed the games.

    Its about time Quebec got a team but the league is still basically North Shore and South shore. Sherbrooke has to be next.

    John Doe, that is teh stupidest reason Ive heard. Its like saying leagues that dont allow loaned players to play against their original team arent as good as those that do. its a technical administrative point. the rules of the game are the same.
    You have to make concessions on some points because the league is shaky which is why they allowed the sham that was St.Leonard to Montreal North then to past RDP (in the forest of St Jean Vianney) or allowed the team to play in Montreal North on what is basically a 9v9 field.
    I think playing on small indoor surfaces kills the game (i watched McGill vs Sherbrooke last month indoors and it was again horrible to watch 22 adult males packed on a tight field) but considering our weather its a reality you have to deal with.

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