Rumour: CPL May See Two Expansion Teams For 2022
Canadian Premier League expansion talks are suddenly red hot after a year of hibernation.
Last night saw the Canadian Premier League tease the arrival of a ninth team out of the blue, prompting fans to speculate about where the new arrival could be based out of.
Following the news, Transfermarkt’s Manuel Veth and Sportsnet’s Dan Riccio have now both speculated that there could be two teams added ahead of the 2022 Canadian Premier League season, though it appears only one of them will be announced later on today.
If two teams are added before the 2022 season, this would prevent the issue of an uneven schedule prompting a surplus of midweek matches. It would also ensure the league is well on target for its goal to have sixteen clubs ahead of the 2026 World Cup.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian Premier League Commissioner David Clanachan had gone on record to say that the league was in discussions with multiple ownership groups in Quebec. The province has been a powerhouse for producing footballing talent, with numerous Canadian Premier League and national team athletes stemming from the area.
I think they’ve always been one of the good provinces in Canada in terms of soccer, and I’m sure we can tell by the amount of players that Quebec has been able to produce that are now playing in professional environments whether it’s in MLS, CPL, USL, or overseas. As the CPL keeps growing, I’m sure we’re going to see more and more talent coming from Quebec. The numbers are there, and the talent is there, and the developing structure is in decent shape.Halifax Wanderers Midfielder Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare
Months ago, Veth had also reported that a Bundesliga side was interested in launching an expansion team in Fraser Valley, an area where former FC Edmonton head coach Colin Miller said was a prime destination for a new team. Ahead of The Island Games, Clanachan also dropped an out-of-the-blue comment that Toronto is big enough to host a second Canadian Premier League team, too.
A new team in Atlantic Canada has also been discussed on multiple occasions, with the likes of Saskatoon and Mississauga being less likely to arrive in the near-term, but highly likely to eventually arrive in the long-term.
The league is set to make an announcement regarding the ninth team at 11:00AM EST this morning. The new expansion team isn’t expected to be ready in time to participate in the 2021 Canadian Premier League season, which Riccio states will be getting its schedule released next week.
While the club’s first-ever expansion team, Atletico Ottawa, was announced just two or so months ahead of the original 2020 season schedule, it’s unlikely that the ninth Canadian Premier League team will want to run through a similar gamut. Whether the team plays in 2021 or 2022, however, this is certainly an exciting time for fans of the domestic game – especially in tandem with rumours of a separately-operated second division.
It’s been a busy week for the Canadian Premier League: in response to plenty of discourse about low player salaries, the league’s head office has made information regarding the 2021 salary cap public, while also disclosing some anonymized club player salary expenditures from the inaugural season.
The league appears set to discuss the ninth Canadian Premier League at 11:00AM EST.