The past few weeks have been crazy for fans of Canadian soccer. With the Amway Canadian Championship in full swing, we’ve seen the Whitecaps blow-up from Ottawa’s Fury only to turn the tables in the second leg, and Toronto FC blow away Montreal Impact. The first round of the League 1 Ontario Cup has played out, PDL team Victoria Highlanders destroyed a team that demolished a USL-side Sacramento Republic in the US Open Cup, and the last few Canadian teams that had yet to field for a match have hit the turf. To top it all off, the NASL Spring Season has concluded with FC Edmonton locking down 3rd place in the league. Does any of this make a difference for the Canadian Team ELO rankings?
The top 5 teams remain in almost the same order as they were on 24 May 2016. The notable exception comes from Vancouver Whitecap’s drop into 3rd place. Despite starting to pull their MLS season together, the massive 2-0 loss in the Amway Canadian Championship to Ottawa Fury hurt them a lot more than Montreal’s loss to Toronto. As a result, they were robbed for points. The Whitecaps’ redeeming performance in the second leg may have upped the scoreline, with their 3-0 result, but the ELO rankings did not recover (10.16) as much as it lost (33.28) from the first leg. The difference between Whitecaps & Fury dramatically alter the relative importance of a victory, even one at home. Whitecaps are expected to triumph, with Fury, a lower-division team, being expected to lose (badly). To make the difference worse, the Fury played and lost a match between the two legs, which further decreased their likeliness of winning.
For lower division play, Vaughan Azzurri was unseated from their top L1O position, replaced by Durham United. In fact, the top 4 spots in League 1 Ontario rankings are all winners from the first round of their cup tournament. The PLSQ Cup tournament doesn’t start until 18 June, but there has been some movement in their rankings as well, with Lakeshore SC dropping to third while AS Blainville and CS Mont-Royal Outremont take the top two ELO positions. The Ottawa Fury Academy deservedly sit bottom of PLSQ, both in ELO and points. Given the already low-calibre of play that we’ve come to expect from the PLSQ, the Fury’s Academy does not seem to hold much promise for the NASL-side.
In PDL action, the Highlander triumph over the USL-slaying Kitsap Pumas may have put them in contention in the Northwest Division, but it did nothing as far as sending them top of the ELO table. That position remains in the hands of K-W United, with Calgary Foothills FC nipping at their heels. In PCSL action, the UBC Thunderbirds have jumped from 2nd from the bottom to top of the league thanks to a handful of nice wins.
We’ll be back Canada Day (July 1st) with an ELO-rating update, and to discuss how the Open Cup & Canadian Championship will affect next year’s starting averages. Stay tuned!