Toronto, ON – (August 29, 2023) – More than 200 players have signed for a professional club after playing in League1 Ontario, Ontario’s standards-based soccer competition.
L1O was founded in 2014 as a 10-team men’s league, before introducing a women’s division in 2015 which is Canada’s highest level.
The league surpassed 100 players going professional in 2018, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic impacting L1O across two seasons, that number has now skyrocketed past the 200 milestone, with the number of men’s players signing professionally almost doubling since the Canadian Premier League formed in 2019.
L1O alumni have signed for clubs in more than 100 different professional competitions internationally, including the top divisions in England, France, Spain, and USA. Players from around the world are coming to play in L1O to benefit from the league’s profile and use it as a springboard for their careers.
Matthew Braithwaite, League1 Ontario Managing Director, said: “To reach this milestone before the competition’s 10th birthday in November is a huge achievement, establishing L1O as a place to see up-and-coming soccer talents in the pre-professional game.
“As well as the players themselves, reaching the 200 mark is also a testament to coaches and staff, with many clubs providing opportunities to homegrown players from academies and local partnerships.
“The Canadian Premier League has been fantastic at looking at League1 level for new talent, and more and more competitions from around the world will do the same as L1O’s reputation grows stronger.”
Dino Rossi, League1 Canada President, said: “It was always our ambition to improve pathways for players in Canada, and this milestone highlights that the model we have built over the past decade is working.
“With the League1 Canada Alliance – now established in British Columbia, Québec, and more regions in the future – we aspire to bring this spotlight to players across the country.”
The League1 Ontario 2023 season concludes with the Men’s Premier Division Final this Saturday (September 2nd, 7pm Eastern) between Scrosoppi and Simcoe County Rovers at Ontario Soccer Centre.