The Canadian Soccer League (CSL) is Canada’s only professional league and is a continuation of earlier leagues, the National Soccer League, the Canadian National Soccer League and the Canadian Professional Soccer League, going back more than 80 years.
The CSL presently operates teams in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and has adopted a mandate to expand on a regional basis to other parts of Canada.
The league is headed by a Commissioner, Cary Kaplan, with offices at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan and Mississauga, Ontario.
The CSL operates two divisions – a National Conference of teams in Windsor, St. Catharines, London, Brampton, Oakville, North York and Toronto and the Province of Quebec - and an International Division of teams in the Toronto area which represent their country of origin.
The CSL has a 22-game regular league schedule which runs from mid-May through to the end of September, followed by the playoffs which lead to the Championship Final late October. It also runs an Open Canada Cup from mid-May to Labour Day weekend in September, a competition open to all senior teams in Canada and which is a first step in Canada’s attempt to run a total club championship. Eventually, this competition will be under the auspices of the Canadian Soccer Association and the winner will be Canada’s entry into the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup with club champions from more than 30 countries in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The current CSL champions are Italia Shooters which defeated another International Conference team, Serbian White Eagles, 1-0 in the final on October 15, 2006.