Toronto, ON (May 13, 2022) – Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) has appointed Dino Rossi as President of League1 Canada, a newly established national alliance of Canada’s existing provincial Division 3 Pro-Am men’s and women’s soccer leagues: League1 BC, League1 Ontario and Première ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ).
Rossi has led League1 Ontario (L1O) since its launch in 2014. He served as commissioner for its first seven years and was appointed Executive Chairman in April 2021. Rossi will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors for L1O, but his day-to-day operational responsibilities will be absorbed by the league’s management team, led by Managing Director Matthew Braithwaite.
“I am honoured to accept this opportunity from Canadian Soccer Business, to lead this exciting project,” said Rossi. “I look forward to working with our partners at BC Soccer, Soccer Québec,
and Ontario Soccer, as well as the team at CSB, to ensure that the League1 Canada alliance achieves its goals of unifying, elevating and expanding the sport of soccer at the Pro-Am level,
from coast to coast.”
League1 Canada was inspired by the recommendations set out in “In A League of Our Own,” a heralded study commissioned by Canada Soccer and published by Rethink Management in 2012. CSB officially launched League1 Canada on March 31, 2022 as a vehicle to forge deeper ties and achieve meaningful alignment of Canada’s three provincial Pro-Am leagues. It connects with provincial soccer associations that sanction and support the operation of those leagues, as well as with the Canadian Premier League, and a wide range of other stakeholders within the Canadian soccer landscape.
Rossi will nurture partner and stakeholder relationships, lead the process of aligning rules/standards and operational best practices, promote the development of players, coaches, and match officials and develop critical inter-league competitions. He will also work with provincial soccer associations in Atlantic Canada and the Prairies, as well as other stakeholders in those regions, with the intention of expanding the League1 Canada footprint nationwide.
“Dino has long played a leading role in the growth of League1 Ontario and soccer in the province, and there is no doubt he will bring his passion for developing cohesive pathways to and from the Pro-Am level as president of League1 Canada,” said Glen Johnson, Executive Vice President of CSB and the Canadian Premier League.
“League1 Canada will play a crucial role in the professional development pathway in our country. It will connect the grassroots level to the professional game and ensure there is ample opportunity for the vast amount of homegrown Canadian talent to develop and have the option of staying in country to further their careers. Dino’s experience will be instrumental in creating that alignment.”
To support Rossi’s efforts, CSB has seconded John Gibson, the CPL’s Director of Interprovincial Affairs, to this project. Gibson will work closely with provincial soccer association leaders, Canada Soccer, and other key stakeholders to lay a foundation for League1 Canada’s national expansion.
CSB has also hired Anthony Totera to serve as Grassroots Ambassador for League1 Canada and the CPL. He will also work as a domestic amateur scout, responsible for developing a national amateur scouting network and coordinating talent showcase events.
About League1 BC
League1 BC is an adult, open-age Pro-Am Soccer League operated by BC Soccer. Established in 2021, the league bridges the gap between youth and professional soccer, targeting the “Training to Compete” stage within Long-term Player Development (LTPD). The league will engage communities across British Columbia providing standard-based competition and training environments for female and male players, coaches, and match officials. League1 BC serves as a key platform for advancement to further opportunities within the game.
About League1 Ontario
League1 Ontario is the province’s Pro-Am, standards-based, senior league. Founded by Ontario Soccer in 2014, L1O has expanded from a 10 to 22-team men’s division, and now boasts a 20-team women’s division. It serves as a stepping stone between the high-performance youth level and elite amateur and professional levels of the game. Owned and managed by Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) and sanctioned by FIFA through the domestic bodies of Canada Soccer and Ontario Soccer, L1O’s primary focus is the showcase and development of Canada’s future stars.
About Première ligue de soccer du Québec
The Première ligue de soccer du Québec is a semi-professional soccer league created in 2012 under the aegis of Soccer Québec. Affiliated with Canada Soccer, this is the highest division of soccer in Québec and is recognized as a Division 3 league in Canada.
About Canadian Soccer Business
Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) represents a suite of top-tier national assets that are core to the sport of soccer in Canada. This includes representation for all corporate partnerships and media rights (broadcast and distribution) related to Canada Soccer’s core assets including the Qatar 2022-bound men’s national team, the Olympic champion women’s national team and the Canadian Championship, the country’s highest domestic club competition. CSB also holds all rights associated with the Canadian Premier League.
About Canadian Premier League
Canadian Premier League (CPL), Canada’s Tier 1 domestic professional men’s soccer league, enters its fourth season in 2022, competing in CONCACAF and FIFA sanctioned events. Playing in world-class and unique venues, and partnering with strong community-led ownership groups, the CPL brings top-tier professional soccer to eight communities coast-to-coast. The CPL has announced plans to expand to nine markets in 2023 with a team in Vancouver, and will grow to 12 teams by 2025. For updates and more information, please go to CanPL.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Senior Director, Communications
Canadian Premier League