League1 Ontario will welcome two new men’s teams and one women’s team for the 2020 season – the seventh campaign in the evolution of the provincial division III league – significantly expanding options for elite male and female players in both Toronto and Hamilton.
“We are delighted to be in a position to grow our men's division for the 2020 season and are very confident that both Hamilton United and North Toronto will prove to be excellent additions,” said League1 Ontario Men’s Division Commissioner, Dino Rossi.
“Both clubs have an excellent reputation for player development in the OPDL and their new League1 teams will serve as the natural progression for the top players from within their clubs as well as for the top talent within their respective communities.”
North Toronto SC will return to League1 in 2020 with both men’s and women’s teams, providing a full senior high-performance pathway for players based in downtown Toronto.
“Welcoming the North Toronto Nitros to the women’s division is great for the league’s continued growth in providing complete pathways for players in Ontario,” said League1 Ontario Women’s Division Commissioner, Carmelina Moscato.
“For a club with impressive operational and technical standards, it is only fitting that their journey from OPDL has organically led to a team in League1, completing the Talented Player Pathway for women. The Nitros will have the opportunity to add a strong squad, talented coaches, and professionalism to the league.”
After first competing in the League1 men’s division during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, North Toronto will refresh with a full League1 program for all players in 2020.
“North Toronto Nitros Soccer is excited to be part of League1 Ontario,” said Doug Blair, Executive Director of North Toronto SC.
“We look forward to expanding the player pathway for talented and committed young women and men, providing high performance training and the top level of Ontario league competition to post-OPDL and post-secondary players.”
Hamilton United Elite will build on the success of their existing League1 Ontario program, featuring teams in the women’s division and men’s reserve division, with the addition of a men’s team in the 2020 men’s division.
“Hamilton United is thrilled to announce a men’s squad to League1 Ontario for the 2020 season,” said Hamilton United executive, Luigi Iantomasi. “Adding a League1 men’s squad completes the talented pathway model that Hamilton United has always strived for. Women’s, and now men’s, League1 squads provide the best opportunities for players within our District and surrounding areas.”
“Our new men’s team will feature a young core group of players, mixed with some cagey veterans, to challenge the old guard,” he added.
A total of 33 teams will compete in the League1 Ontario 2020 season, showcasing 18 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams.
The League1 license holders approved for 2020 are: