Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan revealed plans for the CPL's third season Friday, saying League officials have set to target kick-off date in mid-June to early July at a single site. As for where that single-site season kickoff will be, Clanachan says the League is "working non-stop with several locations creating options" to begin while adding clubs will play a 28-game regular season in 2021 "including matches in our home markets potentially with our supporters and fans cheering on their clubs." With Friday's news in mind, here's what the 2021 CPL season will look like, by the numbers.
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~300 - Number of days between Island Games ending and 2021 campaignForge FC lifted the 2020 North Star Shield 237 days ago, on September 19, 2020. With a target date of mid-June to early July, this offseason will approach the 300-day mark. The offseason between the 2019 and 2020 seasons was similar, with 285 days between the 2019 Finals and the Forge vs Cavalry rematch to kick things off in PEI. If the 2021 season were to kick off on Canada Day, it would be exactly the same number of days, for example.
28 - The number of games each team will play in 2021The aim for the 2021 season is to play a full, 28-game campaign. A yet-to-be-determined number of those games will be played at a single location, but the plan is to return to home cities at some point. The inaugural seven CPL clubs played a 28-game season in 2019, but that was spread out from April to November, so this season will be a bit more crunched than 2019 was, to say the least.
>1 - The number of potential locations for the start of the seasonThe CPL is currently considering more than one location to host the start of the 2021 season, according to Clanachan's statement. "We continue to move forward with our plans for a full 2021 season with the strong support of our club owners and are working non-stop with several locations creating options to begin our season," Clanachan said. While we don't know which specific cities are being discussed, only one will be chosen. Which club is best-suited for a stationary season like we saw at the Island Games? We have a couple ideas.
7 - The number of games Atlético Ottawa has playedAs an expansion team ahead of the 2020 CPL season, Atlético Ottawa has only played seven matches in club history. Seven games aren't really enough to get an idea of how a team looks, or how good they are, so being a relative unknown could work in Ottawa's favour in 2021. Only three players on the Ottawa roster (as it stands) have played more than seven CPL games as well – Dylon Powley (7 games), Ryan Telfer (33), and Zach Verhoven (31).
3... or maybe 1 - Could Forge three-peat, or will there be a new champion?Forge FC has won the first two Canadian Premier League seasons – beating Cavalry FC in the 2019 Finals before beating HFX in the final in PEI. They've assembled another strong squad thus far in the offseason, but so have all of the other clubs. All eight clubs have signed difference-makers that could help them perform better than ever before. Certainly don't rule out a third title for Forge, but several teams will be hot on their trail.