News / Edmonton

Local soccer group pushing for Edmonton's return to the big leagues

Pro-soccer fans want to place Edmonton in new national league

Edmonton professional soccer fans were disappointed when FC Edmonton dropped out of the North American Soccer League last November. But there may be hope on the horizon for Edmonton's return to the big leagues.

Vicky Mital / Supplied

Edmonton professional soccer fans were disappointed when FC Edmonton dropped out of the North American Soccer League last November. But there may be hope on the horizon for Edmonton's return to the big leagues.

A new fan-driven group called YEG for CPL is kicking off a campaign for Edmonton to join the Canadian Premier League (CPL), a new national league that plans to launch this year, according to their website.

Last November, Edmonton professional soccer fans were disappointed when FC Edmonton dropped out of the North American Soccer League (NASL) after seven seasons.

“Although we believed in and have supported the NASL business model, our franchise has proven to be unsustainable in the Edmonton market,” said FC co-owner Tom Fath in a release last November.

Demand for professional soccer in the city seemed bleak. But now, an organization called YEG for CPL believes they can create something "a little closer to sustainable" in the city.

“Part of (sustaining professional soccer) is being more active as fans,” said Huber. “We can do a lot to help spread the word out of the team and the league. I think the more people know the more people will show up to games."

CPL plans to build up Canadian professional soccer, ultimately leading to international competitions such as the FIFA World Cup, according to their website.

YEG for CPL, which consists of a group of pro-soccer fans and roughly four consistent volunteers, plans to hold a discussion this Friday at Urban Tavern about the place of professional soccer in Edmonton. Huber says they are expecting around ten to twenty people to attend.

“We’re just looking to get people together to summarize that and start figuring out what tasks we can do to help push this initiative further,” he said.

“It’s a good thing to talk, but we all have to do something more.”

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