League1 In The Prairies: League1 Canada Announces Central Canada Considerations
It was announced today that League1 Canada will be travelling virtually along the Trans-Canada Highway as they host information sessions towards the possible creation of a multi-provincial League1 Prairies.
The news was made public this morning over twitter with an accompanying press release stating that the national body intends to have the League1 Prairies kicking in the spring of 2025.
Similar to the previously-announced information sessions hosted back in March in Moncton and Halifax for a League1 Atlantic, League1 Canada – in partnership with Manitoba Soccer and the Saskatchewan Soccer Association – will be hosting two information sessions for interested parties on Thursday, June 29 and Tuesday, July 4 respectively.
Speaking on the matter, L1C President Dino Rossi said that bringing League1 soccer to the Prairies ‘is a top priority’ for the organization, adding that he hopes these sessions will ‘educate and inspire while developing a better understanding of the appetite for launching League1 Prairies… walk[ing] parties through the process and timelines in more detail.’
Hector Vergara, Executive Director of Manitoba Soccer Association, said that to him, there is a strong desire from organizations across his province to join a potential League1 Prairies.
“We are fully committed to exploring all the options to make League1 Prairies feasible… and we will provide the necessary guidance to optimize the opportunities ahead of us,” he added.
It can be assumed that the USL2-based FC Manitoba is amongst these organizations ready to take the step into League1 Canada. It was also confirmed by Rossi that Ontario’s sole USL2 team, the Thunder Bay Chill, will be taking part in these sessions regarding their possible involvement in an L1 Prairies.
League1 Prairies, which is targeting a kickoff in the Spring of 2025, would be a standards-based Pro-Am League comprising both men’s and women’s divisions, just like League1 BC, League1 Ontario and Ligue1 Québec, the founding members of the League1 Canada organization.
EDIT: Additional information regarding the status of the Thunder Bay Chill became available after publication, and thus, this information was added to better inform the reader.
Author’s Note: The League1 Prairies logo utilized in this article’s thumbnail and featured image is a fan-crafted badge and not representative of any potential branding used by L1Canada.