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Northern Exposure: CanPL commissioner “very interested” in a single-site solution

MLS launches new youth development league, Alphonso Davies receives mad love, and will the 2020 CanPL season go on? Here’s this week’s Canada Soccer wrap up.

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CPL: Canadian Premier League Finals
Forge FC midfielder Elimane Cisse (3) controls the ball in front of Cavalry FC goalkeeper Marco Carducci (1) in the second half during a Canadian Premier League soccer final match at Spruce Meadows.
(Belski/USA TODAY Sports for CPL)

Canada Soccer outlines its Return to Soccer Guidelines

As social distancing restrictions are slowly being relaxed Canada Soccer is instructing its member associations to follow its “Return to Soccer Guidelines” as they start to get back to practicing and playing. These guidelines created in partnership with various health authorities provide members with processes and tools to help mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19. You can review these guidelines by clicking here.

Canada Soccer presents referee webinar series

Canada Soccer continues to release content for fans, players, coaches and referees as part of its Canada Soccer Nation Inside program. This initiative is meant to keep the Canadian soccer community connected during this time until we can once again gather together to enjoy the game we all love.

On May 24 a new webinar series begins for referees. This first episode will be hosted by FIFA Instructor Michelle Pye, Canada Soccer FIFA Referees Drew Fischer and Carol Anne Chenard and FIFA Assistant Referees Chantal Boudreau & Micheal Barwegan. This episode will be an introduction to the changes to The Laws of the Game in 2020. You can register for this webinar here.

Canada Soccer is ensuring it is providing resources for all aspects of its membership and structure. Of course we need strong Canadian players and coaches, but our officials and administrators are also part of the larger organization. If we hope to see strong domestic leagues at home and successful national teams on the world stage then every part of the support structure needs to be highly capable. Canada Soccer is building up the infrastructure for 2020 and beyond.

CanPL commissioner “very interested” in a single-site solution

Canadian Premier League Commissioner David Clanachan has publicly announced that the league is “very interested” in finding a single-site solution for all the teams to play in during the 2020 season while social distancing restrictions remain in place. “We think that would be very entertaining for our fans from across the country.”

The commissioner went on to say that they were keeping an eye on what other leagues like the NBA and NHL were doing as they also consider single-site locations to continue their seasons. A few of the possible locations being thrown about online include the east coast region with Moncton and Halifax being mentioned, the middle of Canada with Winnipeg being suggested and the west coast on Vancouver Island, but nothing official has been announced yet.

MLS’ new 95 team youth development league

After the recent shut down of the US Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) it was announced that Major League Soccer (MLS) would step in with the creation of a new elite competition platform to take its place. More news has been released about how many teams will take part in this competition and where these teams will be coming from.

According to the MLS website there will be a total of 95 teams playing in the inaugural season of this new league: 30 from MLS (26 current teams plus 4 incoming expansion teams), 5 from USL Championship teams, and 60 from non-professional clubs. Sam Stejskal wrote a piece about this new development in The Athletic, and Kevin Laramée and Duane Rollins from the Soccer Today! podcast invited Travis Clark, managing editor of Top Drawer Soccer, back on the show to discuss this announcement. You can listen to the interview here.

The whole spotlight for Davies

The eyes of the world will be watching Alphonso Davies over the next few weeks as the Bundesliga is one of only a few leagues that are returning to play. The young Canadian star will not have many other players to share the spotlight with giving him an excellent opportunity to showcase his abilities without much distraction.

Waking the Red contributor Jordan Fabian Khan performed an overall assessment of Davies’ game giving great insight into his strengths and areas for improvement. It’s a very interesting piece and worth the read. While the world watches Alphonso hone his craft my hope for him is that he never loses the love he has for the game and the joy it brings to him. Stay grounded in that and—with time and hard work—his game will come together.