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CSA Confirms it is Working on Eight Team Canadian League

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By Mitchell Tierney @mitchelltierney
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of decisions still have to be made, but CSA President Victor Montagliani confirmed that a Canadian League is in development.

It has been long rumoured, but yesterday was the first on the record confirmation from the Canadian Soccer Association that they are working on creating a national league. The CSA has been working on this “project” for two years according to CSA President Montagliani in an interview with Anthony Totera for his show “Red Card Radio”.

A new Canadian league was originally reported by Duane Rollins of Canadian Soccer News. Since, very little news has been released on the topic as the league slowly moves towards fruition.

“First of all we have every right to establish a pro league,” said Montagliani to Totera on Red Card Radio. “National federations don’t run pro leagues, but we’re in a unique situation in which we don’t have one.”

He mentioned that they exploring every avenue to make sure that the league is sustainable. This is in line with what Waking the Red learned this summer, that the reason there hasn’t been more reported about the Canadian league is that it is moving slowly and trying to get everything right before announcing and launching the league.

The league is looking to ensure that it gets the right ownership groups in place before proceeding, as several Canadian leagues before have tried and failed to accomplish. Montagliani mentions that a number of groups have already shown interest.

As such a Canadian league, or even an official announcement of a Canadian league, which Montagliani still refers to as a project, is a couple of years in the future. The idea, however, would be that it is finalized before Canada bids for the 2026 World Cup.

Montagliani also told Totera that the ideal number of teams for this league would be eight, but want to make sure that they have quality ownership groups and people in place to keep those franchises in good shape.

The CSA has piqued the interest of several groups, including those in Hamilton who are currently focusing domestic options after being close to joining another league. Ottawa, currently playing in the NASL Soccer Bowl, are also likely considering a switch to a Canadian league should it come to fruition.

In the same vein, however, Canadian Soccer News is reporting that the major hold up for this league currently is a lack of investment in Toronto and Vancouver, who crucial markets for a Canadian league.

Toronto and Vancouver are two of the biggest soccer markets in Canada, probably in the top three with Montreal. They provide the biggest capital potential both when it comes to a Canadian television deal with the league and having teams in profitable markets.

While it is positive to hear that a Canadian league is developing, it is even more important that the CSA are taking their time to make sure that things are done right. The past would suggest that this league has little chance of success, so giving it as much chance to flourish as possible is important.

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