Late last year, League1 Ontario announced the addition of eight new teams to its Men and Women’s divisions. Today, League1 Ontario is adding one more team to the Men’s division and announcing a new conference structure for that division in 2016.
North Mississauga Panthers becomes the 16th Men’s team to earn membership into League1 Ontario and will play in the Western Conference in 2016. They join the North Mississauga Panthers Women’s team, who won the L1 Cup in 2015.
League1 Ontario commissioner Dino Rossi spoke about what North Mississauga Panthers brings to the Men's division.
“We’re thrilled to be able to add North Mississauga to our league,” Rossi said. “They have a proven track record of developing elite level players in our province, which makes them a natural fit for League1.”
OSA President Ron Smale described how this club is investing in both ends of the Ontario development pyramid.
“It’s great to see clubs like North Mississauga and others in League1 and the Ontario Player Development League now filling the development needs at both ends of our high performance player development system,” Smale said.
“We have clubs that are looking at this as a top-to-bottom investment – from starting them in recreational soccer and developing them on the right path through our OPDL youth structure, to finishing their development in League1.”
North Mississauga President Trevor Bertrand expressed his excitement for their club.
“This is a big year for us at North Mississauga,” Bertrand said. “First we gained entrance into OPDL and now we’ve been accepted into League1 Ontario Men’s division. We’re offering a full spectrum of development opportunities.”
The Men’s division grows to 16 teams and will now be divided into two conferences for 2016.
||Oakville Blue Devils
|Durham United FC
||Kia Toronto FC Academy
|Master's FA Saints
||Pro Stars FC
|North Toronto Nitros (New for 2016)
|Toronto Skillz FC (New for 2016)
||FC London (New for 2016)
|Aurora United FC (New for 2016)
||North Mississauga (New for 2016)
Men’s teams will play 14 games, home and away, within their own conference and a further eight games against teams in the other conference. The top team from each conference will play off against one another in the league final. The Women’s division remains as a single table alignment.
Additionally, teams in both the Men’s and Women’s division will compete in a single-elimination cup tournament throughout the year.
As part of the league re-structuring this season, ANB Futbol has not renewed their League1 Ontario license. As well, Pro Stars FC's will not return a team to the League1 Ontario women’s division for 2016.
For more on League1 Ontario, visit their website.