nas1787

Canadian Soccer Pyramid 2028

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Hi everyone. There have been lots of terrific soccer concepts on here lately (particularly The America League) and I wanted to throw out some of my ideas as well. This thread will be my (somewhat) realistic idea of where Canadian club soccer could be in 15 years. Obviously this is an ideal situation, but I also think it is within the realm of possibility.

For this project I have both created new clubs and identities, as well as updated numerous existing clubs, taken from across the various levels of Canadian soccer. If you check out the current structure on Wikipedia, you'll see that it gets a bit convoluted in the third and fourth divisions. And with all the recent drama surrounding the Canadian Soccer League, I thought it was a good time to try and simplify the structure.

Taking inspiration from a few recent threads on these boards, I will provide a bit of 'history' for each club. Because I am projecting forward, the history will be between the present day and 2028. I did my best to spread clubs throughout the country. Some places get clubs because they hold special meaning to me (much like pcgd did). I'll admit to not having a ton of knowledge of the lower divisions of Canadian soccer, so if a club you support is missing from my concept, I apologize. Ultimately I eliminated some current clubs in order to better spread teams across the country.

My original plan was to create kits for every club as well, but seeing as there are a total of 56 clubs, it got a bit overwhelming. Therefore I decided to stop with the primary crest. If anyone is interested in designing kits for these clubs, let me know. If there is enough interest, maybe we could hold a design competition. But we'll see how it goes.

I have already completed virtually all the crests for the clubs, so I will try and update with a few new teams each day (or every couple of days, let's be honest). In the next post I will introduce the league structure and provide some background on how it came to be. From there I will start with tier 1 and work my way down the pyramid.

Cheers,
Nick

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In 2013, the Easton Report, a document suggesting how to improve soccer in Canada, was released. One of the main recommendations of the report was the creation of a lower division of soccer based on the Canadian Hockey League format (regionally-based leagues). The Canadian Soccer League was de-sanctioned for the 2013 season, before being reversed by court decision. Despite this, the league faltered in 2013 and folded a year later.

With a number of long-established clubs lacking a league to play in, the impetus for the creation of a new 3rd division was there. Utilizing the recommendations of the Easton Report, a new Ontario-based league, Ontario League 1, was created and had it's inaugural season in 2014. As part of the restructuring, the Première Ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ) was approved as Quebec's equivalent to OL1, and continued play in 2014. In 2015, the Western Soccer League (WSL) was created, representing clubs from across Western Canada. Each league would eventually have a total of 16 clubs, and was organized under the new umbella organization, the Canadian Soccer Leagues (CSL, no relation to the former Canadian Soccer League).

The upper levels of Canadian soccer remained intimately tied with the US, with Canadian MLS clubs occupying tier 1, and Canadian NASL clubs occupying tier 2. No promotion/relegation system has ever been implemented.

CUBpXOS.jpg

So as you can see, by 2028 I will have 4 Canadian clubs each in MLS and NASL, as I expect expansion of these leagues to continue. I did not want to bring the USLPRO into the mix, as I felt it would be better to concentrate Canadian clubs in just those two American leagues.

As for the new leagues, I kept their identities simple. The WSL features a stylized old-fashioned soccer ball, with 4 colours representing the 4 Western provinces (green - BC forests, red - Alberta beef, gold - Saskatchewan fields, and blue - Manitoba's lakes). OL1 features a trillium, Ontario's provincial flower. PLSQ (a league which already exists) simply features a soccer ball, and Quebecois blue. I just went with the acronym for the PLSQ, as eventually Atlantic Canada clubs will enter the league (much like the QMJHL).

So that's the structure. Hopefully I didn't forget anything. Tomorrow I will introduce some or all of the MLS clubs. Let me know what you think of the league logos to begin with though.

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Those look good! Hope they can sufficiently fill the void of the America League now that that's done. lol

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I can't wait to follow this series. I like the league logos. I take it the CSL one is original too? I could only find this on google:

CSL-LOGO.gif

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I can't wait to follow this series. I like the league logos. I take it the CSL one is original too? I could only find this on google:

CSL-LOGO.gif

Yeah, sorry, I should have mentioned that that is an original logo as well, seeing as this CSL has nothing to do with the previous CSL.

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Toronto Football Club - MLS

With the positive changes taking place at the club in 2013 continuing year after year, Toronto FC finally started to shed the image of being a consistent failure on the pitch. Unfortunately, they have since become notorious for another reason: chronic playoff underachiever. While TFC have captured 3 Supporter's Shields and 6 Canadian Championships since 2013, they have yet to win an MLS Cup, and have only reached the MLS Cup final once.

But the club has seen renewed interest as their fortunes have risen, and are once again one of the toughest clubs to play against, particularly at BMO Field.

In 2016, after finally conceding that their academy program had a superior crest than the first team, the club adopted a modified version of the academy's eagle crest as their main badge. It has been in use ever since, and has led to a new nickname of 'Red Eagles'.

8DVVDAN.jpg

Ever since the academy logo was introduced last year, I really liked it, much more so than TFC's current offering. I modified it slightly by removing the banner at the bottom and adding in the date of TFC's establishment. I'm not sure if everyone has the same feeling that this crest is better than the current one, but I do, and they're my club, so that's what I did!

Just a note: For clubs that I am redesigning, I'll give a before and after shot like the one above. For those that I made from scratch, they won't have the before image.

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Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club - MLS

Since 2013, the Whitecaps have been the most successful MLS club, capturing 2 Supporter's Shields, winning the MLS Cup twice, and reaching the Finals on 4 occasions. They have also claimed 4 Canadian Championships in that timespan. That being said, the Whitecaps are currently in a rough spot, having failed to qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs the last 3 seasons.

The first of the Whitecaps MLS Cups came in 2014, their 40th year as a club. In 2014, VWFC introduced a throwback third jersey commemorating their first season in 1974, and they had so much success while wearing the jerseys that the next season they introduced a modified crest with the retro Whitecaps wordmark from the throwback jersey. It has been used ever since.

J7tqF8i.jpg

My main problem with the Whitecaps crest has always been that the font seemed just a little too bland. Retro is all the rage now, and boy is that old wordmark retro, so I went ahead and fit it right in the new crest. I also eliminated 'Vancouver' and 'FC' from the logo, just to reduce the clutter a bit.

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So far so good man!

I really hope that the talks of a 3 league 3rd division styled in the same mold as the CHL come true one day.

As a big supporter of Canadian soccer I'm just dieing to see the game grow at the grassroots level to supply the national team with better players.

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Wow I like! I assume that not all of the crests will have the team's year of establishment on them like the first two.

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Not bad. Toronto's my favorite for right now. Only thing I don't like about this is you saying there still won't be a pro/reg system, even by the '20s. I support pro/reg because it gives the smaller teams something to look forward to. Winning the USLPro doesn't mean much, unless it also means getting into the NASL. Finishing last place in the MLS isn't necessarily a big deal, unless that also means not being in the MLS anymore. Know what I mean?

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I think your Whitecaps future wordmark is to rounded, seeming the logo is pointy it may look better pointed as well.

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Not bad. Toronto's my favorite for right now. Only thing I don't like about this is you saying there still won't be a pro/reg system, even by the '20s. I support pro/reg because it gives the smaller teams something to look forward to. Winning the USLPro doesn't mean much, unless it also means getting into the NASL. Finishing last place in the MLS isn't necessarily a big deal, unless that also means not being in the MLS anymore. Know what I mean?

I think if we could someday get to the point of pro/rel, that would be great. But it's going to be tough. Particularly if Canada goes the route that I am suggesting here. Having primarily American upper divisions, but an all Canadian lower division would make pro/rel a difficult prospect i think.

I'm heading out of town for the weekend, so I likely won't have the other two MLS clubs up until Monday (unless I have time tonight). But thanks to everyone for the feedback so far.

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Not bad. Toronto's my favorite for right now. Only thing I don't like about this is you saying there still won't be a pro/reg system, even by the '20s. I support pro/reg because it gives the smaller teams something to look forward to. Winning the USLPro doesn't mean much, unless it also means getting into the NASL. Finishing last place in the MLS isn't necessarily a big deal, unless that also means not being in the MLS anymore. Know what I mean?

I think if we could someday get to the point of pro/rel, that would be great. But it's going to be tough. Particularly if Canada goes the route that I am suggesting here. Having primarily American upper divisions, but an all Canadian lower division would make pro/rel a difficult prospect i think.

I'm heading out of town for the weekend, so I likely won't have the other two MLS clubs up until Monday (unless I have time tonight). But thanks to everyone for the feedback so far.

Canada should have their own league system, but pro/reg could work either way. The English FL has three Welsh teams. If they can make it work, so can we.

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Not bad. Toronto's my favorite for right now. Only thing I don't like about this is you saying there still won't be a pro/reg system, even by the '20s. I support pro/reg because it gives the smaller teams something to look forward to. Winning the USLPro doesn't mean much, unless it also means getting into the NASL. Finishing last place in the MLS isn't necessarily a big deal, unless that also means not being in the MLS anymore. Know what I mean?

I think if we could someday get to the point of pro/rel, that would be great. But it's going to be tough. Particularly if Canada goes the route that I am suggesting here. Having primarily American upper divisions, but an all Canadian lower division would make pro/rel a difficult prospect i think.

I'm heading out of town for the weekend, so I likely won't have the other two MLS clubs up until Monday (unless I have time tonight). But thanks to everyone for the feedback so far.

Canada should have their own league system, but pro/reg could work either way. The English FL has three Welsh teams. If they can make it work, so can we.

Pro/reg is a bad idea in North America. Owners and sponsors hate it while it is strongly against the interests of the top teams that have all the money (if it goes against big money it is not likely to win). Also the MLS has a single entity arrangement which puts all the teans under a single umbrella of ownership by the league so that can get messy in pro/reg system.

Finally North Americans in general are not used to a pro/reg system and may be turned off from it especially in a fringe sport trying to make headway. For example lets say you have Phoenix United and Phoenix Athletic who constantly get bounced back and forth between the relegation zone of the MLS and the promotion zone of the NASL. So you could have United being in the MLS one year, then have Athletic replacing them, and so on and so forth. I would imagine a typical North American fan would either root for both teams, root for whoever is in the MLS, or just abandon the sport all together. It would definitely not give a strong likelyhood of them becoming fans of one team over another.

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Montreal Impact - MLS

Montreal quickly solidified their place as serious contender in MLS, reaching the MLS Cup playoff 5 years straight from 2013-2017, with one MLS Cup in that span. Since then, they have continued to perform well, but have been less consistent in their on field performance. The Impact have won 3 Canadian Championships since 2013, and are the current defending champions.

The club's image has remained remarkably consistent over the years, with only a slight modification of their original MLS crest taking place in 2017.

hlBC1cn.jpg

I like all the elements in Montreal's current crest, but think there is just a bit much going on with all the gradients and metallic looks. So I simply flattened the crest to make it a bit simpler. There is probably currently a version very similar to this, actually.

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Ottawa Fury FC - MLS

Ottawa entered the NASL in 2014, and immediately had great success. While there were concerns that the new Ottawa stadium was too big for 2nd division soccer, Ottawa soccer fans consistently filled enough seats to make for a difficult atmosphere for opponents to play in, and won the NASL Championship in their inaugural season. With all their success in NASL, the club made a big push for MLS starting in 2016. The process was slow, but finally the Fury were promoted to MLS in 2020.

Since that time, the Fury have had only moderate success on the field in MLS. But despite this, the club still has great fan support. The Fury have won one Voyageurs Cup, in 2021, just a year after being promoted to MLS.

y5y2CIJ.jpg

I wasn't a huge fan of any of the options presented for the new NASL club, so I decided to take some elements from each and try to come up with something better. I used the first crest as my basis, changed the shape of the shield, and moved the Fury wordmark to a banner. also added in the flame at the bottom. I'm not fully satisfied with this one, so I'd love to hear your opinions.

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