Home NASL & USL More NASL & USL Montagliani: CSA won’t sanction USL clubs as official Div. 3 teams in Canada

Montagliani: CSA won’t sanction USL clubs as official Div. 3 teams in Canada


Canadian Soccer Association President Victor Montagliani says the new USL-MLS partnership will not impact the push for an all-Canadian Division 2 or 3.

But he said that if any USL-Pro teams take root on Canadian soil, they would not receive an official Division 3 sanction, even though the USSF recognizes the league as Division 3 on its soil. As it stands, there are no Canadian teams in USL-Pro at the moment, though that could change through the new partnership.

“In Division 3, at the semipro level, we have the regional based model,” said Montagliani. “Take Quebec, for example. We have an eight-team league and they are sanctioned whether the Impact have a team in there or not. When it comes to Division 3 sanction, our priorities are for the Canadian club.”

On Wednesday, MLS and USL announced a partnership — beginning in 2013, the MLS Reserve teams will either affiliate with USL Pro teams or have their reserve side play an interlocking schedule with selected USL Pro opponents.

But, as it stands, Montagliani sees this as the three Canadian MLS teams rearranging their own reserve squads, and will have no impact on the CSA’s plans to increase the number of professional soccer clubs in this country. The CSA has got a report in its hands on the feasibility of a national division 2. And the CSA is behind a plan to sanction regional leagues for as Division 3, to help increase the number of clubs in the country. The question was: How does USL-MLS fit into those plans? Well, the answer is clear — it doesn’t. In the CSA’s eyes, it exists outside of its sphere.

“What they are doing doesn’t affect our plans at all,” said Montagliani. “The MLS teams are rearranging the way they do their reserve league, that is all. Our goal with Division 2 and Division 3 is to expand the number of clubs in Canada, and not rely on three MLS teams.”

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  1. Kahkakew Yawassanay

    January 26, 2015 at 7:24 am

    It would be quite easy to expand current leagues to Div 3 status…the existing PCSL, and Div 5 amateur leagues such as VMSL, VISL, SPSL, AMSL, MSL in the west along with two in Ontario, one in Quebec and one in the maritimes makes 10 leagues all together. Easy to establish a national tourney to determine an overall Div 3 champion…seems CSA still are clueless on how to progress the game here…PDL teams should really be at Div 5 amateur status and be a feeder league for the semi pro Div 4 leagues.

  2. Ken Jamieson

    September 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm


    I pulled up this article while researching the CSA’s position vis-à-vis USL-Pro. In reviewing your article in light of recent CSA announcements on USL-Pro initiatives by Canada’s 3 MLS teams, it appears that the CSA is changing its position.

    I can’t help but think this change of position is being caused in no small way by the CSA’s inability to crystallize 3rd Div soccer in Canada, and is further exasperated by the need of the TFC, Impact and Whitecaps to keep pace with their league competition. With a growing number of MLS teams moving from having reserve sides playing a handful of games (some against USL-Pro) to fielding USL-Pro sides of their own in place of reserve sides, it behooved the Canadian trio to follow suite. And with the CSA dithering on the Canadian Div 3 plan (and the de-sanctioning of the CSL), they needed an immediate solution.

    I have grave fears that, combined with the NASL and PDL, the advent of USL-Pro in Canada will effectively kill any chance of a truly Canadian league, unless CSA can “force” existing USL-Pro and NASL clubs in Canada to leave their leagues and join such a project in the future.

    Regrettably, the recent flip-flop by the CSA on USL-Pro is another sign of its lack of vision and true leadership.

    Ken Jamieson
    Bon Accord, AB

    • Steven Sandor

      September 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      When I spoke to Victor Montagliani about USL earlier this year, he spoke of looking at each proposal on a “case to case” basis.

      From people I have spoken to, 3rd division is a really tough sell. If you’re going to spend millions on a team, you want to be “Division 1.” So, for sure, the owners have been hard to find. There has been great progress with League 1 in Ontario and the league in Quebec.

      But the roster requirements are pretty tough. I think CSA has shown some teeth here.

      I haven’t been up to Bon Accord in a while… have to get back that way!

      • Ken Jamieson

        September 6, 2014 at 5:20 pm

        Bon Accord is lovely in the fall. I am continuing my support of FC Edmonton (two season tickets) and am guardedly optimistic about their fall season.

        I think the thing that every Canadian soccer fan really wants from the CSA is a well-thought out and comprehensive road map that will result in, at the very least, a return to the World Cup finals.

        Soccer On, Steve!

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