April 15, 2013 CSL--CSL Will Kickoff May 3rd (from CSL web site)
CSL WILL KICKOFF MAY 3........ Arbitration decision by April 21 A delayed Canadian Soccer League will kickoff Friday, May 3 with 12 teams in its first Division and 10 teams making up the increasingly popular developmental Second Division, a campaign that will stretch almost six months to the CSL Championship Final at the end of October. The new league formation introduces Burlington SC, which brings a team to the CSL from that Ontario community for the first time, while the academy teams of Toronto FC and Montreal Impact have moved the competition side of their player development programs elsewhere – TFC Academy will play in Ontario, while the Montreal Impact Academy will play in the United States. Both the professional teams of Brantford Galaxy and Mississauga Eagles FC will not play in 2013 while retaining membership in the CSL to resume league competition in 2014, and Windsor Stars are considering senior amateur options in Ontario and Michigan. These changes come in the wake of a decision by the governing Canadian Soccer Association mid-February to de-sanction the CSL following the CSA’s adoption of a recommendation from the ReThink Management Group to restructure semi-professional soccer in Canada. The California-based company put emphasis on the 18 – 23 age group of players, suggesting Canadian soccer at mid professional level should place greater focus on player development. The CSL, while not entirely opposed to the concept, considers that professional soccer is not structured for player development per se. Like the rest of the world its professional First Division is intended to fill a dual role of providing attractive soccer primarily for the benefit of the fans, while also offering a platform from which players can move to a higher level in North America and overseas. The CSL Second Division, where teams are limited to a maximum four players over the age of 23, is regarded as ideal for developmental purposes as well as providing the necessary support for teams in the upper division. The CSL has enjoyed considerable success in serving as a springboard for promising players with more than 40 selected for a national youth team in various countries during the past three seasons and many have been signed by high level clubs. Talented midfielder Jonathan Osorio, 20, who scored 11 goals in his 2012 CSL season with SC Toronto after developing his skills at Clarkson-Sheridan Soccer Club, is one of the most recent examples. He is playing well at MLS level and has already found the net for Toronto FC. The CSL has sought arbitration from the dispute resolution body for Canadian sports in its dispute with the CSA and a decision will be made by April 21. The CSA, which considers the CSL to be still a member in good standing despite the de-sanctioning, prohibits its members from going to civil court for resolution to disputes with the national governing body.
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