August has rolled to a close, and with it the shopping malls have traded out sporting goods for backpacks and pencil cases. PDL teams have closed up shop for the season, sending their soccer students back to the classroom to train more at the college level, but the pros are still playing the beautiful game. Additionally, the International transfer window is now closed, so the rosters should be better cemented now. There were a lot of matches in the past 2 weeks, so how were Canadian Teams affected in the national ELO ranking?
MLS and NASL teams remain relatively unchanged. Toronto FC is pulling out all the stops with their top team, sending it to new heights while lower down on the TFC pyramid their teams struggle. Ottawa Fury FC is pulling out all the stops too, the emergency stops that are supposed to break a free-fall. The Fury continue to have a tough go against even the worst teams in the NASL, and despite the revolving door of players, few seem to be pinning it on the teams mastermind: Dalglish. The strength of the Canadian dollar vs US dollar may be low, but FC Edmonton (who have trouble bringing more than 2k fans to a match) are still managing to top the league. In comparison, Ottawa is rolling in income. The numbers don’t lie, and the time is long past due to say: Dalglish needs to go.
USL has brought us a little surprise this week. With FC Montreal on a bit of a winning streak, they’ve managed to pull themselves up from being mere points above PDL-side Victoria Highlanders. Not only that, but thanks to their 4-3 victory against Toronto FC II, they now stand just above TFC’s 2nd team. This marks a prolonged period and keeps FC Montreal’s hopes alive to possibly see some post-season action. Vancouver Whitecaps FC2, in comparison, continues to do very well despite a couple of minor losses, and top-out the USL ranks.
In L1O action, Durham United FA just can’t seem to catch a break. This team is my favourite to take the league this year, but they fell in their past two matches. As a result, they remain firmly in 3rd place, with Vaughan and Woodbridge remaining in 1st & 2nd respectively. As the L1O Cup winners, Vaughan Azzurri have a full 15 points on Woodbridge & 16 points on Durham, giving them a clear advantage in the ELO ratings.
Finally, the PLSQ continues to slug it out. There is no change to the order of the top-3 with AS Blainville holding the lead while CS Mont-Royal Outremont (2nd) and FC Gatineau (3rd) slowly close the gap. Lakeshore SC (4th) continue to pressure FC Gatineau, but the gap between the two clubs continues to widen. For those interested, the Ottawa Fury Academy remain in 2nd-last position, but continue to drop closer and closer to the bottom rung.
The next two weeks promise a lot more action. Not only is there regular league play, but the PLSQ Cup has the second round of the semi-finals, with FC Gatineau meeting with Lakeshore SC, and AS Blainville taking on CS Mont-Royal Outremont. The outcome of these matches will likely change or cement the PLSQ hierarchy in the ELO rankings. With any luck, the league-play will hold a few surprises for us over the next couple weeks. We’ll be back on or around the 15th for the mid-month update.