Eight teams will kickoff the 2016 Canadian Soccer League season the weekend of May 27 for a five-month long campaign through to the end of October.
Ukraine United FC is a new entry in the CSL, while Hamilton City is a re-branded and relocated London City team. The move to Hamilton by London City ends a 10-year period during which Steeltown has been without professional soccer .
London will still be represented, however, in the 6-team CSL Second Division. Jasmin Halkic has assumed the CSL territory in that city and the team is entered as London City in a formation which includes four reserve teams and SC Waterloo.
Three teams, Toronto Croatia, Burlington and Niagara United, will not be returning in 2016, while Brampton City Utd were suspended near the end of the 2015 season and are also not entered.
London City entered professional soccer in 1973 and the southwestern Ontario club has changed hands twice in recent years. There is an expectation of greater community and fan support in Hamilton, a city with a long history in soccer and in recent times has shown an increase in new arrivals from countries where the soccer is considered to be the first sport of interest. The Hamilton and District Soccer Association has increased its youth player population considerably over the years and it is estimated that there are now 160,000 fans and supporters of soccer in Hamilton and the surrounding districts
The 2016 league formation:
FIRST DIVISION SECOND DIVISION
Brantford Galaxy Brantford Galaxy ‘B’
Hamilton City London City
Milton SC Serbian White Eagles ‘B’
Scarborough SC Toronto Atomic ‘B’
Serbian White Eagles SC Waterloo
Toronto Atomic SC York Region Shooters ‘B’
Ukraine United FC
York Region Shooters