Cavalry FC sits atop the Canadian Premier League spring season table, five points clear of its nearest rival, Forge FC. With six matches remaining in the spring season, the Cavs are currently favourites to claim the first CPL Championship berth.
The Canadian Premier League inaugural season is divided into two sections. Each team will play a 10-game spring season and an 18-game fall season. The spring season runs from April to July and the fall season runs from July to October. The winner of each season face one another in the CPL championship in October. Should one team top both seasons, the club with the next best record overall will be awarded the other final spot.
The league’s lopsided format has provided its early matches added significance. Each win feels big. Each loss hurts. The winner of the spring season sprint will have something worth celebrating as early as June or July – a place in the CPL Championship.
Single-match final or two-legged series?
But the CPL is yet to finalize the 2019 Canadian Premier League Championship’s format, according to CPL commissioner David Clanachan. Speaking to media while attending Cavalry FC’s match against FC Edmonton at Spruce Meadows Saturday, the CPL commissioner did not confirm whether the CPL championship would be a single-match final or a two-legged series.
“We’re working through that right now,” said Clanachan, during a halftime media availability Saturday. “There’s a lobbying effort for a home and away. But we’re not quite there yet.”
Clanachan said the league is working with its partners to determine the CPL championship’s format but didn’t provide a precise timeline for when the news would be shared.
“I just don’t want to let the cat out of the bag,” said Clanachan. “Just stay tuned.”
Next season’s format still to be determined
Apparently the CPL had hoped the 2019 spring season winner would earn the 2019 Concacaf League berth. But in the end only FC Edmonton, Forge FC and Valour FC are eligible for this year’s 2019 Concacaf League berth, based on the date of their Canada Soccer membership.
“It’s a spring season. We had it set up to finish on July 1. That’s why it’s a little unbalanced right now. We thought it would be a very interesting idea and unique where it finishes on Canada Day with six of the seven playing. And also because of the fact we have that Concacaf (League) berth for a one-time only, whoever won the spring league would do it. It didn’t work out that way but it’s still going to be a lot of fun.”
And the CPL, which expects to have added to its roster of seven clubs by next season, is still considering the format for next year, according to Clanachan.
“I’ve been asked, do we balance it better next year? Potentially,” admitted Clanachan. “But there’s something unique about Canada Day in this country. We’ll see. We’ll keep everybody guessing for a little while longer.”