Canadian Soccer Association

Last updated

Canadian Soccer Association
Canadian Soccer Association logo.svg
Short nameCSA
FoundedMay 1912;111 years ago (1912-05)
Headquarters237 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario
FIFA affiliation1912–1926;
CONCACAF affiliationSeptember 18, 1961
(original member) [1]
President Charmaine Crooks
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

The Canadian Soccer Association (French : Association canadienne de soccer; branded as Canada Soccer) is the governing body for soccer in Canada. Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, the federation is a full member of FIFA and governs Canadian soccer at the international, professional, and amateur levels, including: the men's and women's national teams, Canadian Premier League, youth organizations, beach soccer, futsal, Paralympic and deaf national teams. The Canadian Soccer Association also administers and operates the Canadian Championship.



Place Soccer Canada in Downtown Ottawa is the headquarters of the Canadian Soccer Association Place Soccer Canada.jpg
Place Soccer Canada in Downtown Ottawa is the headquarters of the Canadian Soccer Association

The Dominion of Canada Football Association, today known as the Canadian Soccer Association, was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba in July 1912. [2] [3] The organization joined FIFA on December 31, 1912. On June 21, 1926, the DCFA resigned from FIFA, only to rejoin on June 20, 1948. The governing body of the game retained that name until it was changed to The Football Association of Canada on June 6, 1952. The association later changed its name to the Canadian Soccer Football Association in 1958 and then at last to the Canadian Soccer Association in 1971.

Canada Soccer has hosted several global soccer tournaments, including the 1976 Olympic football tournament, the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, and will co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup along with Mexico and United States. The association has also hosted the FIFA U-20 World Cup (2007), the FIFA U-16 World Championship (1987), and the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup (2002, 2014).

Organization and governance

Canada Soccer is a non-profit organization governed by a board of directors consisting of 14 directors: a President, Vice President, six elected directors, and six appointed or independent directors. [4] [5] Each of the six elected directors is elected from one of six geographic regions. The board must include at least three men and three women. The president of the board is Charmaine Crooks, a five-time Olympian and Olympic Silver Medallist in track & field, and the vice president is Kelly Brown.

Canada Soccer is administered by the General Secretariat, which is led by general secretary Peter Montopoli and deputy general secretary Earl Cochrane. [6] The general secretary is the chief executive of Soccer Canada, and is appointed by the board of directors. [4]

Canada Soccer is a member of the worldwide soccer body FIFA and the North American soccer body CONCACAF and also has a relationship with the International Olympic Committee.

Canada Soccer's objectives, as described in its by-laws, are to: [4]

  1. promote, regulate and control the game of soccer throughout Canada, particularly through youth and development programs;
  2. organize competitions in Association Football in all its forms at a national level, by defining the areas of authority conceded to the various leagues of which it is composed;
  3. draw up Association Football regulations and provisions, and ensure their enforcement;
  4. protect the interests of its Members;
  5. respect and prevent any infringement of the statutes, regulations, directives and decisions of FIFA, CONCACAF and The CSA, as well as the Laws of the Game;
  6. prevent all methods or practices that jeopardize the integrity of matches or competitions or give rise to abuse of Association Football;
  7. control and supervise all friendly Association Football matches played throughout Canada;
  8. manage international sporting relations connected with Association Football;
  9. host competitions at international and other levels.

National teams

Men's national team

The Canada men's national soccer team represents Canada in international soccer competitions at the senior men's level. Their most significant achievements are winning the 1985 CONCACAF Championship to qualify for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, winning the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup to qualify for the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup and qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. A Canadian club team also won a gold medal in the 1904 Summer Olympics.

The men's national soccer team have played at the FIFA World Cup on two occasions, in 1986, and 2022. They have yet to make it through to the knockout stages. By qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Canada ended a 36-year drought. Canada with Mexico and the United States will jointly host the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the first 48-team event.

Canada have played at the CONCACAF Gold Cup on eighteen occasions, most recently in 2021. They co-hosted the tournament in 2015, where they finished 4th in their group, and did not advance to the knockout stage.

Women's national team

The Canada women's national soccer team represents Canada in international women's soccer competitions at the senior women's level. Its most significant achievements are winning the 1998 CONCACAF Women's Championship to qualify for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, and winning the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The Canadian team also won a gold medal in the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The women's national soccer team has played at the FIFA Women's World Cup on eight occasions (missing only the inaugural 1991 edition), most recently in 2023. The team reached international prominence at the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, losing in the third place match to the United States. Canada hosted the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, and reached the quarterfinals.

The team has played at the CONCACAF W Championship on ten occasions, most recently in 2022. It hosted the tournament in 1994 and 1998.

Canada has played at the Summer Olympics on four occasions, most recently at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where they were crowned champions for the very first time.

Youth national teams

The men's youth team most significant achievements are winning the 1986 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament to qualify for the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship, and winning the 1996 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament to qualify for the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship.

The women's youth team most significant achievements are winning the 2004 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship, winning the 2008 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship to qualify for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, and winning the 2010 CONCACAF Women's U-17 Championship to qualify for the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.

Canada Soccer Association oversees and promotes the development of many youth national teams:

Extended national teams

Professional leagues

Despite a long history of professional soccer in the country, Canada have struggled to build and sustain domestic soccer leagues. They have gone through many different iterations, finally landing on the Canadian Premier League that was founded in 2019.


The Canadian Premier League (CPL) is the top division of soccer in Canada. It is the only fully professional, and only fully national league in the system. Founded in 2019, the CPL is composed of eight teams and is sanctioned by the CSA. There are also three Canadian teams which play in Major League Soccer, the first-division league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, reflecting a longstanding practice of major Canadian sports franchises competing in American leagues.

CSA does not have a sanctioned second-division men's soccer league, however they do have a third-division sanctioned league: League1 Canada which was founded in 2022. League1 Canada is contested by clubs from four divisions; these are Ligue1 Québec, League1 Ontario, League1 British Columbia, and League1 Alberta for both the men's and women's divisions. In 2022, Toronto FC II and Whitecaps FC 2 began play in MLS Next Pro, a USSF-sanctioned third-division league.

At the professional level, Canada's domestic cup is the Canadian Championship. Founded in 2008, the Canadian Championship is an annual tournament contested by Canadian professional teams and the champions of each League1 Canada division. The winner is awarded the Voyageurs Cup and a berth in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. [7] Canada's best performance in the CONCACAF Champions Cup came in the 2014–15 competition, when Montreal Impact reached the finals. [8] Toronto FC also reached the final in 2018 where they fell in penalties to C.D. Guadalajara. [9]


As of 2023, Canada does not have a professional women's league. [10] The CSA previously had an affiliation with the U.S.-based National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) where some Canada women's national soccer team players were assigned to NWSL clubs. [11] This affiliation ended after the 2021 season when the allocation system was abolished, [12] although many Canadians continue to play in the American league. [13]

In 2022, former national team player Diana Matheson and current national team captain Christine Sinclair announced a new Canadian women's professional league targeted to start play in 2025. [14] Matheson and Project 8 Sports Inc. are leading this effort while Sinclair is involved in an advisory role. [14] Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Calgary Foothills WFC, and AFC Toronto City have been announced as inaugural teams. [15]

League system

Professional leagues in Canada
LeagueDivisionFederation# of men's teams
Canadian Premier League 1CSA8
Major League Soccer 1 USSF 3
MLS Next Pro 3USSF2
Semi-professional leagues in Canada
LeagueDivisionFederation# of men's teams# of women's teams
United Women's Soccer 2USSF2
League1 British Columbia 3CSA88
League1 Ontario 3CSA2220
Ligue1 Québec 3CSA1212


In July 2022, an independent review summarized in a 125-page report by McLaren Global Sport Solution, commissioned by Canada Soccer, concluded that Canada Soccer mishandled sexual harassment allegations in 2008 against then Canada U-20 women's soccer coach Bob Birarda, who was later found guilty of three counts of sexual assault. It said Canada Soccer was "described by many as being dysfunctional and inefficient" in 2007 and 2008, and concluded among other things that "harassment was not a priority issue amongst the senior Canadian Soccer Association leadership team" at the time. [16]

In 2022, Canada Soccer's then newly appointed Secretary General Earl Cochrane said: "We are going to be leaders in this safe sport – through policy, practice, programs." [17]

Executive committee

President Charmaine Crooks [18]
Vice-President Paul-Claude Bérubé [18]
General Secretary Kevin Blue [19]
Treasurer Steve Reed [20]
MemberDale T. Briggs [21]
MemberKelly Brown [21]
MemberBrian Burden [21]
MemberCharisse Bacchus [21]
MemberCharlie Cuzzetto [21]
MemberStephanie J. Geosits [21]
MemberDominique Grégoire [21]
MemberOrest Konowalchuk [21]
MemberPierre Marchand [21]
MemberDino Rossi [21]
MemberDon Story [21]
MemberBrittany Timko Baxter [21]


1Fred Barter1912
2Tom Watson1913
3Edward Bailey Fisher1914
4Hugh Craig Cambell1915–1919
5Tom Guthrie1919
6Dan McNeil1920–1921
7John Easton1922–1925
8John Russell1925–1931
9Tom Holland1931–1932
10Charles Smail1932–1934
11Len Peto1935–1938
12Tom Elliot1939–1940
13Fred Crumblehulme1946–1947
14Robert Walker1947
15Otis Todd1947–1949
16Charles Pinnell1949–1953
17Ernest Campbell1953
18Jock Hendry1954–1956
19Arthur Arnold1957
20Victor Hagen1958–1960
21Patrick Nolan1961–1962
22Dave Fryatt1963–1964
23Bill Simpson1965–1968
24Aubrey Sanford1969–1971
25John Barnes1972–1973
26Bill Stirling1973–1981
27Jim Fleming1982–1985
28 Fred Stambrook 1986–1991
29Terry Quinn1992–1997
30Andy Sharpe2001–2005
31Colin Linford2006–2007
32Dominic Maestracci2008–2012
33 Victor Montagliani 2012–2017
34 Steve Reed 2017–2020
35 Nick Bontis 2020–2023
36 Charmaine Crooks 2023–

See also

Related Research Articles

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