CPSL PLANNING ITS FUTURE
The Canadian Professional Soccer League is planning its future.
Launched in 1997 with its first season in 1998, the CPSL has long been recognized as an important part of the professional soccer structure in Canada, particularly since the highly trumpeted First Division Canadian United Soccer League (CUSL) failed to materialize following a number of promising announcements in 2000 and 2001.
Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, urged the further development of professional soccer in Canada during a three-day tour here December 2001.
“If you want to enhance the profile of soccer, you need this platform provided by a professional league,” he said during the visit.
The CPSL figured in plans announced by the CUSL and the Canadian Soccer Association in 2001, but Canada’s only complete pro league has generally been left alone to decide its destiny.
Recent day-long meetings at Windsor, Ontario and at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan just north of Toronto, has allowed the CPSL Board of Directors the opportunity to reflect on the past (there was a planning meeting July 2000), and to now see what the league should look like in years to come.
Vincent Ursini, chairman and president of the CPSL, opened the first meeting at the St. Clair College in Windsor with a vision beyond 2010. “While we will focus on the next three years and five years, we should also look at where the league should be in 10 years, with a clear understanding and agreement of the direction the CPSL is heading,” he said.
Discussions were wide-ranging, including country-wide expansion, a Women’s pro league, the popular Open Canada Cup competition, professional soccer standards and working with the soccer community.
Announcements are expected during the coming weeks.