Canadian Premier League 2021 Season Unveiled
The Canadian Premier League has unveiled a significant portion of its 2021 season schedule ahead of the Aruba vs. Canada match on OneSoccer tonight.
As was predicted by Duane Rollins, Thomas Nef, and John Molinaro, the Canadian Premier League has confirmed that the 2021 CPL season will kick off on June 26 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and will see matches take place on the turf pitch at IG Field until July 24, 2021.
The event has been titled “The Kickoff Presented by Volkswagen”, following up as a successor to last year’s Island Games bubble tournament in Charlottetown, PEI. This time around, however, it won’t represent the season in full.
The health and safety of all Manitobans is our first priority and public health has been working alongside the Canadian Premier League and the Valour Football Club to bring this event to Winnipeg in a safe manner and within the current public health orders. Guidelines are in place for team testing before travel, during the first seven days and weekly thereafter, and players will be cohorted with their teams and only interact with other teams during matches. Additionally, essential personnel will be limited and proactive screening, monitoring and tracking of participants will be documented to ensure the event is successful and safe.Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba Chief Provincial Public Health Officer
The eight teams of the league will undergo their first eight fixtures of a full 28-game season at Valour FC’s homeground without fans, with IG Field hosting a grand total of 32 matches over the course of a four-week made-for-television event that will run until July 24. At that point, teams will return to their home markets where possible.
The league will open on June 26 with FC Edmonton kicking off against Atletico Ottawa at 2:00PM EST, and the coast-to-coast clash following up with Pacific FC taking on the Halifax Wanderers at 5:00PM EST. The next day will see Forge FC take on Valour FC at 2:00PM EST, and Cavalry FC kick off against York United at 5:00PM EST in a second double header.
Given that York United and Forge FC have been unable to begin preseason training due to provincial lockdowns, that’s quite a timeline for the Ontario-based sides who weren’t able to travel to Spain.
The 2021 Canadian Premier League season was originally scheduled to kick off on the Victoria Day Long Weekend, though the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to delay its plans for home markets with fans in the stands. Now set to kick off in a bubble format before returning to such, the league has gone forth with intentions to run a full 28-game season for each of its eight clubs.
The league had stated it had a ‘Plan B, and a Plan C’ in place due to the difficulties brought on by the pandemic, with backup plans reportedly including a second stay in the east coast. Instead, Valour FC will see its home ground host the first 32 matches of a full season.
We are thrilled to be hosting our clubs at IG Field to begin the season. We thank the CPL, Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg for their support and co-operation in securing The Kickoff at IG Field and we can’t wait to get the season started.Valour FC President Wade Miller
The previous 2020 Canadian Premier League season ran in a condensed bubble tournament format held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, with Forge FC retaining its championship title in a 2-0 victory over the Halifax Wanderers.
The 2021 Canadian Premier League season will be available to stream live on OneSoccer, with other broadcast partners expected to be announced in the near future. The full schedule will be released on June 9, 2021.