February 10, 2015

CSL - TORONTO – Monday, February 9, 2015 - There will be more teams in the Canadian Soccer League’s First Division in 2015.

The 2014 10-team First Division is expected to increase by at least two for the May kickoff and a six-month long campaign that will stretch to the end of October, possibly early November.

The CSL has approved in principle the addition of expansion clubs Scarborough FC and Toronto Atomic.  The return of Brantford Galaxy was confirmed earlier. Milton FC, a Second Division team in 2014, will also be in the First Division.

“It’s going to be a strong line-up of teams when the final 2015 league formation is announced mid-February,” said Pino Jazbec, the CSL administrator, following an executive meeting recently.

The CSL is third tier in Canada, below MLS – which has Canadian teams Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps – and the second tier North American Soccer League, with FC Edmonton and Ottawa Fury. The US Pro league will increase its presence in Canada with the entry of reserve team Toronto FC II to join FC Montreal in the Eastern Conference. All three leagues are U.S. based.

The CSL will continue to further develop its popular Second Division of reserve teams in 2015. The Second Division is considered an ideal entry for teams requiring a two-stage approach to professional soccer, an environment that has established the CSL over many years as the stepping stone to higher levels. 

More than 40 CSL players have been selected for various national teams in recent years, mostly at the youth level, and numerous players have moved to higher level professional clubs. And the trend continues today, with opportunities for players such as defender Winston Crozier of York Region Shooters. The Mississauga native has four years of CSL experience and has been invited to join English Premier League club Burnley for trial this coming July.

Toronto FC coach Jason Bent commented recently on his experiences as coach of the TFC academy team in the CSL prior to being assigned to the MLS first squad. The highly regarded Bent, a Canadian international midfielder who played for Colorado Rapids in MLS, also in Germany and England before joining Toronto FC, has now been appointed head coach of Toronto FC II. “ I learned a lot in the CSL,” said Bent.

York Region Shooters are the defending CSL champions in the upcoming 2015 season, having defeated Toronto Croatia in the final played at Toronto last October 26. The Shooters completed 21 regular season and playoff games undefeated.                                      

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