U SPORTS Announce Partnership with Canadian Premier League
University Men’s Soccer Players Will Have the Opportunity to be Selected to a CPL Team
U SPORTS men’s soccer players will now have an opportunity to play professional soccer. The Canadian Premier League—Canada’s professional soccer league launching in April 2019—and U SPORTS agreed to a partnership on Wednesday afternoon.
“The partnership will provide student-athletes with an opportunity to be signed to a CPL-U SPORTS Development Contract,” read the press release. “This will allow an athlete with one to four years of eligibility remaining to play with a CPL club, while preserving their eligibility, in the spring and summer before returning to U SPORTS competition.”
According the the U SPORTS press release, the CPL-U SPORTS draft will take place on Nov. 1, once the 2018 U SPORTS Men’s Soccer Championships at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, concludes.
U SPORTS is Canada’s governing body for university sports and currently has 48 teams Canadian university teams participating.
“We knew giving the top university players in our country an opportunity to play professionally while still continuing to maintain their education and U SPORTS status was important,” said David Clanachan, Commissioner, Canadian Premier League. “This allows us to continue our journey to create a pathway for our homegrown players to have the opportunity to play professionally in Canada.”
Once a player is drafted, they will be signed by a CPL team on a Standard Development Contract—which will expire the following day after a CPL team is “finished with CPL or CPL related commitment”—provided by CPL Administration, read the press release. Student-athletes will be released to return to their U SPORTS teams Aug. 15.
“Once the U SPORTS team has completed their competitive season playing commitments, the student-athlete may rejoin the team until the CPL playing commitments are completed.”
Drafted players that return to university following the CPL season, who continued to meet draft eligibility rules, will be allowed to go back to future CPL drafts.
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