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Ontario Soccer – With the License Holders growing to 26 organizations in 2018 and the program completing its roll-out of age groups, OPDL continues to build Ontario’s best athletes

Nov. 28, 2017

Vaughan, ON – The Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) will enter its fifth season in 2018 and with it the program will continue to grow across the province.

Twenty-six Club and Academy License Holders are confirmed for the upcoming season.

The strategic plan to expand to areas of Ontario, which previously did not have OPDL License Holders, ensures that high-quality development environments, in which all their players receive top-level competition, combined with highly-structured, high-performance training will be coming to those regions.

“It’s important to the development of Ontario’s high-performance program that OPDL expand to regions that it has not previously had representation,” said Johnny Misley, Ontario Soccer Executive Director. “These new markets will help to identify athletes for opportunities in the provincial team, national team, Toronto FC Academy and help showcase their skills to scouts from across North America.”

Launched in 2014, with the 2001 male and female age groups, the OPDL will now phase-in the fifth and final age group in 2018 for its license holders to continue to refine their program, according to the Ontario Soccer Talented Pathway.

“This ensures that more male and female athletes will have the opportunity to perform at the highest level in Ontario and ensure they reach their soccer goals,” said Gary Miller, Ontario Soccer Technical Director. “With the OPDL age group roll-out now complete, we can continue to work towards aligning the provincial programming with the national program and ensure our license holders continue to develop tomorrow’s stars.”

The OPDL is the program where the best athletes face the best, week in and week out, and the program’s alignment with League1 Ontario, the province’s pro-am league, allows for that to continue for Ontario’s athletes beyond the U-17 age group.

“We’re excited to see Ontario’s athletes graduate beyond the program in the years ahead and League1 Ontario provides the platform for them to continue to showcase and refine their skills,” said Gabriel Assis, Manager of OPDL. “The OPDL license holders, whose clubs are not in League1 Ontario, continue to create affiliations with pro-am teams to ensure their players have opportunities to move on to.”

The license holders approved for 2018 are as follows:

  • Athlete Institute FC
  • Aurora FC
  • Brampton Youth SC
  • Burlington Youth SC
  • Cambridge United
  • Cumberland United
  • FC London Academy
  • Hamilton United Elite SC
  • Markham SC
  • North Mississauga SC
  • North Toronto SC
  • Oakville SC
  • Ottawa South United SC
  • Richmond Hill SC
  • SC Toronto
  • Tecumseh SC
  • Toronto FC
  • Toronto High Park FC
  • Unionville Milliken SC
  • United FA
  • Vaughan SC
  • Waterloo United
  • West Ottawa SC
  • Whitby Iroquois SC
  • Whitecaps London
  • Woodbridge SC

The OPDL season will kick off on May 4-5, 2018 and the season will feature 20 games for each Club and Academy License Holder.

About Ontario Soccer

Founded in 1901, Ontario Soccer is the largest provincial sports organization in Canada. Its members include more than 650 Clubs servicing over 24,000 teams with 380,000 registered players, 70,000 coaches and managers, and 10,000 match officials. Ontario Soccer develops and delivers exceptional and sustainable programs and services throughout Ontario with the mission of providing leadership and support for the advancement of soccer in collaboration and cooperation with our membership, partners and other stakeholders. Ontario Soccer also operates League1 Ontario, a provincial professional-amateur men’s and women’s league as well as the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL).

About the Ontario Player Development League

Launched in 2014 with the 2001 age group, the OPDL is the province’s standards-based, youth high performance league that combines top level competition with strict high performance training standards. This exciting youth high performance program is an important component of the overall movement to adopt the core principles of Long Term Player Development (LTPD) across soccer at large in Ontario and Canada.

Media Contact 

Ben Rycroft | Communications Manager | Ontario Soccer | | 905-264-9390 x 255