Canadian Premier League vs MLS – complete analysis

Canadian Premier League vs MLS – complete analysis

September 25, 2021 Off By Ibiye Ambille

Canadian Premier League vs MLS – The complete analysis of the difference between the two professional soccer leagues in the United States and Canada.


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


The Canadian Premier League or CPL is the new primary national soccer league competition for teams in the country.


The CPL 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 and exposure, structure as well as increasing television revenue.


Canadian Premier League vs MLS


The two leagues run separately. For Canada, there are three teams from the country in the MLS arguably the biggest teams in the country.


The three Canadian teams in the MLS are Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, and CF Montréal (formerly Montréal Impact).


Even though the MLS reigns supreme, the CPL is expected to grow in the next coming years with proposed expansion plans which could attract more sponsors willing to invest more money.


While the two leagues can not be compatible at this point, the CPL could still be regarded as a starting point for young players.


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


This shows how youthful and competitive the league would turn out to become in the next couple of seasons.


At least, it could 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, high priority is placed on winning trophies that would help boost the club’s financial strength.

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In terms of strength, structure and standard, the MLS is miles above the Canadian Premier League.


Although the Canadian Premier League is also 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 competing for honours.


The league’s first two editions were singlehandedly won by Forge FC. The Hamilton-based club appears to have the league’s strongest firepower.


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 in the few seasons.


MLS: MLS has been ranked amongst the top 10 Professional Soccer leagues in the world.


The league have experienced an influx of foreign soccer players across the world most especially in 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 including Los Angeles Galaxy, Los Angeles FC, New York City FC, FC Dallas, etc.


Unlike some European leagues, the MLS has not been sided although the first few editions were dominated by DC United.


Since its first expansion, different teams have emerged winners of the league 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 which two teams play in the CPL final.

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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 or 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 or MLS Cup playoffs.


The winners of the playoffs are crowned Champions 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 and MLS Broadcast and Coverage


CPL Broadcast

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


Although, the league’s audience over the years has increased. The league has its presence in India as well as Latin America which is another major market.


There’s also a broadcast presence in Sub-Saharan Africa, Philippines.


MLS Broadcast

The MLS has a large market and TV coverage.


The league is covered throughout the Americas.

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Globally, the league can be found in the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and other countries.


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


Canadian Premier League vs MLS – most successful teams


CPL Most Successful

Forge FC

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


Forge FC won the first two editions of the newly created CPL aimed at developing indigenous Canadian players, coaches, etc.


Lifting the league crown back to back, Forge FC established itself as a major 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 it dominated 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 as well as 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 as well as twice winners of the Supporters Shield.

Also Read: MLS Cup winners


The Canadian Premier League vs MLS analysis revealed the difference between the top two national soccer leagues in the United States and Canada.

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