Ever since the 2020 Canadian Premier League season ended in September, fans have been eagerly awaiting news about the league's third year. While we don't yet have an exact start date for the 2021 season, there are at least a few things we can be sure of by now. All eight CPL sides have been putting their rosters together, with a few signings yet to come to fill out the 23-man squads. Stay tuned to CanPL.ca's 2021 roster tracker as the teams fill out their groups.
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Here's everything we know so far about the 2021 CPL season.
CPL 'focused and committed' to playing 3rd seasonIt's probably best to begin with the obvious: the League is adamant that the 2021 campaign will happen, in some shape or form. Commissioner David Clanachan, in a letter to supporters on April 28, assured fans that various scenarios for returning to play are on the table. The League did previously announce it was targeting a start date around the Victoria Day long weekend in May, but with a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic still underway, the Commissioner explained that it's more prudent to delay things slightly. Clanachan said in the latest statement: "We are committed to playing our 3rd season of CPL soccer in 2021. You can count on us delivering a creative and innovative solution for our Players, Partners and Supporters as we did with the Island Games in 2020. Clearly, the country is struggling through a third wave of the pandemic and we need to adjust accordingly." But nonetheless, the League is working toward kicking off as soon as possible.
Update coming May 15As part of the Commissioner's same statement, fans learned that more information on the 2021 CPL season is expected to come on May 15. We don't yet know what exactly that announcement could be, but that weekend in the middle of the month is certainly one to circle on the calendar.
Five CPL teams currently in training, Valour FC to follow soonSo far, four CPL clubs – HFX Wanderers, FC Edmonton, Cavalry FC, and Pacific FC – are training in their home markets, having received approval from local governments and health authorities to do so safely. Restrictions and safety protocols are different in each location, but all CPL teams are ensuring strict adherence. Atlético Ottawa, meanwhile, is also in training, having travelled to Spain for their pre-season camp at the facilities of parent club Atlético Madrid. Valour FC announced recently that their 2021 pre-season will officially open in full on Monday, May 17 at IG Field in Winnipeg. The club has begun limited training in seven-player groups.