The 2020 Canadian Premier League season by the numbers
Canadian Premier League

The Canadian Premier League is back, and there’s a lot to sink your teeth into.

The 2020 regular season was unveiled on Wednesday with the launch of The Island Games, a 35-match sprint in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with the North Star Shield at stake.

It’s an exhilarating feeling, knowing CPL soccer will return this summer.

It’s also a unique regular season format: eight teams set to duke it out over two group stages and one final, all in one place.

That said, we here at thought we would break it down for you.

Here’s a look, by the numbers, at the 2020 CPL regular season.

35 – Matches played at The Island Games

Cavalry's Sergio Camargo takes on York9 at Spruce Meadows. (Photo: Tony Lewis/CPL).
Cavalry’s Sergio Camargo takes on York9 at Spruce Meadows. (Photo: Tony Lewis/CPL).

The Island Games is set to run at a fast pace, with 35 matches packed into a regular season where the winner will hoist the North Star Shield. It will be grueling slog for the eight CPL teams, especially those who advance to the second group stage.

For context, the 2019 CPL Spring season also ran 35 matches, but it took 65 days to complete. If you thought last year’s spring sprint felt short, just wait.

11 points – Potential threshold for second round

To find the cut-off – the fewest number of points needed to earn a spot in the second round – we took an educated guess and came up with 11 points.

For one, it’s comparable to a five-point haul in a World Cup group stage – a point ahead of that dreaded four-point total that has split many group stages in recent years.

This 11-point total is also a half-point above the average points available to each team (10.5). Being above the imaginary red line is where you want to be, and a target worth setting for CPL clubs. Virtual Newsroom pours over the recently-announced CPL 2020 season and what we can expect from The Island Games. Watch in full here.

11 – Maximum games played

The greatest number of games that one team can play is 11: seven first-stage matches, three in the second round, and one in the single-legged 2020 CPL Final.

1 – CPLer from P.E.I.… we think

To our knowledge, there is one, and only one, CPLer with ties to Prince Edward Island: HFX Wanderers FC attacker Ibra Sanoh. Scoring 101 goals in 70 games for Holland College, the six-foot-two striker made his name on P.E.I., and he earned his first professional deal with Wanderers in the process.

Sanoh, who also attended the University of Prince Edward Island, was born in Guinea and moved to Canada in 2011. He starred in the 2018 exhibition match held in Halifax for Stephen Hart’s Atlantic Selects team against German side Fortuna Düsseldorf’s under-21 team prior to the CPL’s inaugural season. He scored for the Atlantic Selects to tie the game at 1-1.

285 – days since the 2019 CPL season ended

Yes, believe it or not, it’s been almost 300 days since the second leg of Finals 2019 when Forge FC edged Cavalry FC 1-0. When play kicks off on August 13, again featuring Cavalry and Forge, CanPL will end a 285-day stretch without matches.

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