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Canadian Premier League vs MLS – complete analysis



The Canadian Premier League is the newly created professional soccer league in Canada that sits top in the Canadian soccer league system with the MLS.


The CPL is the new primary national soccer league competition for teams in the country. It consists of eight professional soccer teams.



The MLS, on the other hand, is the top-flight professional soccer league played by teams from the United States and Canada. It remains the top-flight professional league in the United States and Canada, even though the new CPL now serves as the new primary league for Canadian teams.


The CPL has continued to grow in several areas, including players development, exposure, structure and increasing television broadcast rights.


Canadian Premier League vs MLS


The two leagues are run separately. For Canada, there are three teams currently competing in the MLS.


The three Canadian teams in the MLS, including Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, and CF Montréal, are the three most prominent soccer teams.


Even though the MLS reigns supreme, the CPL is expected to grow in the next couple of years. Currently, there are proposed plans of expansion that could attract more sponsors willing to invest more money.


Since the establishment of the CPL in 2019, almost 60% of the players in the league are within the age-grade levels 17 to 26.


At least, it would serve as an avenue for young players to continue to play professional soccer regularly for their respective clubs.


The MLS, on the other hand, where the competition and standard are very high, priority is placed on winning trophies that would help boost the club’s financial strength. In terms of strength, structure and standard, the MLS is miles above the Canadian Premier League.


Although the Canadian Premier League is growing, the standard is also high but still open for more improvements.


Canadian Premier League vs MLS – Competition


CPL: The CPL was established in 2019 as the new primary national soccer league of Canada with eight teams. The league’s first two editions were singlehandedly won by Forge FC. The Hamilton-based club appears to have the league’s strongest players.


Forge FC have also faced tough competition from sides, including Calvary FC, HFX Wanderers, etc.


Although judging by the first two seasons, Forge FC dominates the CPL. The competitiveness of the Canadian Premier League is expected to improve as the competition progress.


MLS: MLS has been ranked amongst the top 10 professional soccer leagues globally. The league have experienced an influx of foreign soccer players across the world, most especially from Europe.


The emergence of the Los Angeles Galaxy could be behind the international recognition of the league on the world stage.


The MLS is one of the most competitive soccer leagues in the world. Top teams include Los Angeles Galaxy, Los Angeles FC, New York City FC, FC Dallas, etc.


Unlike some European leagues, the MLS has never been sided, although DC United dominated the first few editions.


Since its first expansion, different teams have emerged league winners from the regular season up to the post-season playoffs.


Canadian Premier League vs MLS – Format of structure


Canadian Premier League Format

The Canadian Premier League features a regular season format with an end of season playoffs tournament. The CPL regular season runs from April to October. Each team plays 28 games, including 14 at home and 14 away games.


At the end of the regular season campaign, the top four teams in the regular season will play another separate playoff to determine the two teams that would play in the CPL final.


The CPL is similar to the MLS with no relegation and promotion. However, there could be plans to introduce this format as more clubs are expected to join the league.


Major League Soccer Format

The Major League Soccer is a franchise league system. The regular season runs from late February or early March to October.


The league is split into two groups geographically known as Eastern and Western conferences. At the end of the MLS regular season campaign, the team with the highest point in the two conferences is awarded the Supporters’ Shield.


The top teams at the end of the MLS regular season qualify for the postseason knockout tournament known as the MLS Cup playoffs. The winner of the playoffs are crowned winners of the league.


Canadian Premier League Teams

Atlético Ottawa, Cavalry FC, FC Edmonton, Forge FC, HFX Wanderers FC, Pacific FC, Valour FC, York United FC.

Major League Soccer Teams


Eastern Conference

Atlanta United FC, Chicago Fire FC, FC Cincinnati, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, Inter Miami CF, CF Montréal.

Nashville SC, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Toronto FC


Western conference

Austin FC, Colorado Rapids FC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo FC, Sporting Kansas City, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles FC.

Minnesota United FC, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC.


CPL , MLS Broadcast and Coverage


CPL Broadcast

The main broadcast area of the Canadian Premier League is in the United States and Canada.


The league’s audience over the years has increased. Currently, the CPL is available in India, Latin America, Philippines and Sub-Saharan Africa.


MLS Broadcast

The MLS has a large market and TV coverage.The league is covered throughout the Americas. American soccer lovers can watch the MLS in the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and other countries.

MORE: How to watch the MLS in the United Kingdom


The league is also one of the most followed soccer leagues in the Americas.

MORE: How to watch the MLS in USA and Canada


Canadian Premier League vs MLS – most successful teams


CPL Most Successful

Forge FC

Forge FC is a soccer club based in Hamilton, Ontario. They’re the most successful team in CPL with two titles.


Forge FC won the first two editions of the CPL. Lifting the league crown back to back, Forge FC established itself as a significant force in Canadian soccer.

Also Read: Canadian Premier League winners


MLS Most Successful


LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy is the most successful team in MLS. The Los Angeles based soccer team won five MLS Cup as well as four MLS Supporters Shield.


Galaxy’s first triumph was in 2002 and three years later in 2005. The club became the second team in the MLS history to win back to back MLS Cup titles after dominating the scene between 2011 and 2012.


DC United

DC United was the first team to win the MLS Cup.

The following year, the club made history by claiming the MLS Cup title back to back and the MLS Supporters Shield. The Washington based team further went on to win two more Cup titles in 1994 and 2004.


Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew is a two-time winner of the MLS Cup. The Columbus based soccer team have also clinched the MLS Supporters Shield three times.


San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose Earthquakes are two-time winners of the MLS Cup and twice winners of the Supporters Shield.

Also Read: MLS Cup winners

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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