Impact farm team
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Wednesday, November 15 - CSL teams will be playing in the picturesque Quebec community of Trois-Rivieres next season, thanks to a three-way deal involving the league, Montreal Impact and the ownership of the now defunct Laval Dynamites.
The formation of a Montreal Impact farm team to play its 11 home games at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres Stadium in a 22-game CSL league schedule was announced at a news conference at the Trois-Rivieres City Hall today. The principals were Joey Saputo, president of Montreal Impact, Cary Kaplan, commissioner of the CSL, Tony Iannitto, owner of the new franchise, Dino Madonis, president of the Quebec Soccer Federation and the mayor of Trois-Rivieres, Yves Levesque.
“This is an important part of our five-year plan to develop the right pyramid for Quebec and its 170,000 players and to develop soccer throughout the province is very much a part of Montreal Impact’s mission,” said Joey Saputo, referring to the current USL Division 1 winners. “We are pleased to be working with the CSL and we are now making good strides with the help of the partners we have brought together.”
The Impact farm team is a first for USL Division 1 and Division 2 teams which, while a common part of the professional hockey structure in North America, has been slow to catch on in professional soccer.
CSL commissioner Cary Kaplan was part of that structure when president of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League, then owned by the Edmonton Oilers and now a farm team for Montreal Canadiens.
Kaplan said at the press conference that today marks a major step for his league in the commitment for rapid expansion of the CSL in Canada. “This is a tremendous step forward and we are very proud of being able to establish a relationship with Montreal Impact and Joey Saputo who has done more than anyone else to build pro soccer in Canada. It is also a great occasion for the city of Trois-Rivieres and we look forward to a long-term prosperous relationship with all concerned.”
Today’s announcement also makes it clear last year’s CSL team Laval Dynamites, owned by Tony Iannitto, will not be operating and the franchise territory is now vacant. There are reports of interest in that community for new ownership.
“Today’s news conference follows a great deal of discussion and a lot of planning and I am very pleased to have our CSL pro team in Trois-Rivieres with its great people and their support behind this venture,” said Iannitto. “I am really looking forward to working with the Impact and all the organization stands for in the province of Quebec.”
It is understood that other communities, including Quebec City and Sherbrooke, were also under consideration in locating the Montreal Impact farm team.
Residents in the regions of Mauricie and Centre-du-Quebec in which Trois-Rivieres is situated, are invited to suggest a name for the new team. Proposals should go to [email protected] before December 1, 2021 for the May, 2007 kickoff.
The Canadian Soccer League operates a National Conference of community teams and an International Conference of teams that represent their country of origin. There were 12 teams for the season just ended and the championship was won by York Region-based Italia Shooters of the International Division. The league is embarking upon regional expansion to the east and in Western Canada.