June 22, 2024
  • June 22, 2024
Canadian Premier League Mark Noonan

Noonan Surprised By Narrative Of ‘Shame’ From MLS Sides After They Lose To CPL Teams

By on May 23, 2024 0 3121 Views

This week has seen both the Vancouver Whitecaps and CF Montreal lose second leg cup matches against Canadian Premier League opposition, with both MLS coaches mentioning referring to the Canadian Championship losses as ‘shameful’.

Canadian Premier League commissioner Mark Noonan wasn’t having that, saying he was surprised by a narrative he feels makes no sense: while the CPL may be much younger than its MLS counterpart, he feels the standards within the league are good and, as a result, there’s no shame in seeing an MLS club lose to a CPL team.

While the league’s own commissioner was always going to step up to bat for his own division, there’s growing proof in the pudding that he’s right.

There have been four occasions where Canadian MLS sides have lost to CPL teams, who operate on much smaller player salary caps with a maximum $1,212,500 – a size significantly smaller than MLS’s own, and without creative exceptions like designated players. Players in this category like Ryan Gauld, for example, take in more than double Cavalry’s entire player wage bill annually.

Following the Whitecaps one-nil home loss to Cavalry – in which the ‘Caps still advanced to the semi-finals due to the away goals rule – head coach Vanni Sartini apologized to fans for his team’s performance, going so far as to call it shameful and the lowest point of his career with the club.

Similarly, CF Montreal head coach Laurent Courtois said he was ashamed after his side crashed out against Forge FC, simply offering that he cannot explain the lackluster performance from his side.

Forge FC Kwasi Poku
Photo Credit: Audrey Magny

The first Canadian Premier League upset came all the way back the Canadian Premier League’s inaugural season, with Cavalry knocking out the Whitecaps in 2019. The ‘Caps would suffer defeat two years later with Pacific defeating them 4-3 in 2021, resulting in the sacking of Marc Dos Santos afterwards.

This week we’ve now seen Cavalry sneak a slim away win over the Whitecaps despite losing on away goal difference, with Forge FC storming to a 3-2 aggregate win over CF Montreal last night.

See Also: Noonan Highlights CPL’s Commitment To Domestic Cup As US Falters On Their Own

Noonan points out that the Canadian Premier League is a FIFA D1 sanctioned league and, despite what the Major League Soccer coaches have said this week, there’s no shame to be had when MLS teams come up short against them.

It’s worth noting that both Cavalry and Forge’s head coaches were in the running for the Canadian men’s national team post, with Bobby Smyrniotis having once been rumoured to be a prospect for the CF Montreal team he defeated this week.

For players in Canada’s top flight like Garven Metusala – who upset a CF Montreal side who once enrolled him in their academy – these kind of results simply show that there’s MLS-caliber quality playing in Canada’s top flight.

“It shows the quality we have in this team and in this league. We know we have a lot of guys that can play at this level and it’s always satisfying to prove that on the pitch.”

Header Image Photo Credit: David Chant / Canadian Premier League

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