OPEN CANADA CUP GOES CANADA-WIDE
The Canadian Professional Soccer League will kick off its seventh season on Friday, May 21, with the Preliminary Round of the Open Canada Cup, one of two major trophies that highlight Canada�s only complete professional soccer loop.
The 12-team CPSL is Second Division pro soccer in Canada, while Division One is occupied by a group of five Canadian teams in the U.S.-based A-League.
The CPSL is inviting entries from all registered senior teams in Canada to join the 12 CPSL pro teams to take part in the Open Canada Cup scheduled for each of the four holiday weekends through to the final on Labour Day, September 6.
While emphasizing that not many teams beyond Ontario and Quebec are expected to enter, CPSL president Vincent Ursini explained the reason for the Canada-wide invitation at a press conference held in Windsor Friday where details of the CPSL�s newest franchise were given to the local media.
�Like most other countries where soccer is played, we believe that Canada should have a club champion to enter competitions in other parts of the world and eventually that�s what the Open Canada Cup will lead to,� he said.
For Canada to enter its club champion into world competitions, the Open Canada Cup tournament is expected to come under the auspices of the Canadian Soccer Association and the governing body for all soccer in Canada has said they will get involved as early as 2005.
The CPSL season of about 140 regular league, cup and playoff games will end with the Rogers Cup Final for the CPSL Championship on Thanksgiving Day, October 11.
Brampton Hitmen are the current CPSL champions and London City last year won the inaugural Open Canada Cup.