A local management group is recommending that the Canadian Soccer Association consider establishing a regional semi-professional development-focussed league competing at a Division III level in the country’s largest soccer markets.
“The new association of region-based, semi-professional, development-focussed league concept we have recommended in this study, while not the national professional model some might have hoped for, has the potential to be an important stepping stone in the elite player pathway along which Canadians can rise to the top tier of professional football,” said James Easton of the Rethink Management Group.
The study, titled In a League of Our Own, was released this week.
Conducted in two phases, it assessed Canada’s soccer landscape – both past and present – while consulting with participants at all levels of North American soccer, including federation presidents, youth coaches, supporters and soccer journalists.
CSA president, Victor Montagliani, said the model outlined in the study provides a realistic and economically responsible starting point for the organization.
“We also believe that, in time, it could become a fantastic vehicle to link and harmonize our development structure with existing soccer partners for the benefit of Canada’s up-and-coming athletes,” he said.
Canada women’s team, meanwhile, will play friendly internationals against England and Germany in the next few months.
The senior girls will oppose the English on Sunday, April 7 at the New York Stadium in Rotherham, England. In their last official meeting, the Canadians shut out their opponents in March 2011 at the Cyprus Cup tournament.
Canada has won five of six meetings against the British, dating back to 1995.
The national side’s meeting with the Germans will be held on June 19 at a German venue. This will be the first encounter between the two teams since they met in the opening match of the International Soccer federation (FIFA) Women’s World Cup in Germany before a crowd of about 73,680 in Berlin.
Canada is winless in 10 meetings with the Germans since 1994.
Prior to the friendlies, the Canadians will compete in the 2013 Cyprus competition March 4-13. Canada’s first match is against Switzerland on March 6 in Larnaca.