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Overwhelmingly Canadian Power Rankings, MLS Week 1

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Wow. What a high-scoring, last-gasp-scoring, topsy-turvy opening week for MLS.

But we’re not here to celebrate that — we’re here to monitor the development of Canadian talent in North America’s pro ranks. And, for the second year in a row, we’ll be ranking Canadian players by the simplest and most revealing metric of them all — how many minutes of first-team action that they get with their pro teams.

Last year, then-Atlanta Silverback (and now Ottawa Fury member) Kyle Porter was the Canadian who saw the most minutes out of any MLS or NASL team. We measured MLS and NASL separately from the USL for a couple of major reasons.

1. In USL, Canadians can be domestics league-wide. In MLS and NASL, Canadians are only domestics on Canadian-based teams.

2. The three Canadian USL sides have Canadian Soccer Association-mandated minimums they must meet in terms of putting Canadians on the field.

But it was a notable opening week in MLS for Canadians: Cyle Larin scored in Orlando City’s remarkable comeback against Real Salt Lake; the Lions came from two goals down in second-half injury time. Toronto FC gave full 90s to Will Johnson and Jonathan Osorio in their 2-0 win at the New York Red Bulls. The Whitecaps started two Canadians.

(And, if you’ve seen our MLS season preview, you’ll understand that it was Vancouver that actually had the most successful opening weekend out of the three Canadian teams. Why? Because MLS Cup history shows us that teams that struggle early in the season are the ones who will be there in the end.)

Eight Canadians played in the MLS opening weekend. Compare that to last season’s week one, in which only four Canadians saw the field.

But, it’s worth noting that only two Canadians played for U.S.-based teams; Larin and FC Dallas’s Tesho Akindele. And, Akindele has his U.S. paperwork and doesn’t count as an import. So, the cynic will note that, in a league that allows Americans to be domestics on Canadian teams but dictates that Canadians are imports on American teams, only one Canadian without U.S. certification made it onto the pitch for a U.S.-based side on opening weekend.

Here’s the list:


T1. Fraser Aird, Vancouver, MLS, 90 (1)

T1. Will Johnson, Toronto FC, MLS, 90 (1)

T1. Cyle Larin, Orlando City, MLS, 90 (1)

T1. Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC, MLS, 90 (1)

5. Kianz Froese, Vancouver, MLS, 66 (1)

6. Anthony Jackson-Hamel, MLS, 37 (1)

T7. Tesho Akindele, FC Dallas, MLS, 6 (1)

T7. Ashtone Morgan, Toronto FC, MLS, 6, (1)


Toronto FC, MLS, 186/1

Vancouver, MLS, 156/1

Orlando City, MLS, 90/1

Montreal, MLS, 37/1

FC Dallas, MLS, 6/1

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