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Canada Soccer Launches Player Development Program Championship

By Staff, 12/15/23, 4:30PM EST


The Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) is one of four standards-based programs currently recognized as part of Canada Soccer's new Player Development Program (PDP) network, with the first national PDP Championship to take place in August 2024.

Play. Inspire. Unite.

Canada Soccer announced today the creation of a new Boys and Girls player development championship to launch in summer of 2024. The Player Development Program (PDP) Championship is an opportunity to showcase the quality of play and organizations involved, as well as to strengthen the connection between standards-based programs across the country.

“We are thrilled to be adding another high caliber team-based tournament for our local communities and grassroots movement in Canada,” said Jason deVos, interim General Secretary, Canada Soccer. “For many participants, the PDP Championship will be a pinnacle event and serve as a tool to support the retention of players in standards-based environments.”

The Canada Soccer PDP is a network of standards-based programs that represents the highest level of amateur youth soccer in Canada. Participating organizations (clubs and academies) must hold the National Youth Club Licence, the highest category of recognition for amateur youth clubs within the Club Licensing Program and meet any additional requirements of the standards-based program.

Currently, the following standards-based programs are recognized as a part of the PDP network:

  • Alberta Youth Soccer League (AYSL)
  • BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL)
  • Ontario Player Development League (OPDL)
  • Premier ligue de soccer juvenile du Québec (PLSJQ)

“There is a real need and desire for a national competition to further develop our young players and strengthen our pipeline. This new initiative is further connected to the Canada Soccer Strategic Plan, which includes a goal of launching standards-based competition structures leading to pinnacle domestic events and aligned to the recent FIFA Talent Ecosystem Analysis Report aiming to increase national league opportunities and competitions,” added Dave Nutt, Canada Soccer’s Interim Director of Development.

The PDP Championship will launch in 2024 under the following structure:

  • Categories: Girls and Boys – Under 15 and Under 17
  • Date: August 2024
  • Participation: Two (2) Teams per Member Association — eight (8) Teams total; Member Association determines how teams qualify for the PDP Championship
  • Structure: Two (2) Pool Round Robin with seeding crossover (1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4); four (4) Games per Team

The PDP Championship is being organized as a team-based event focused on individual and team performance on the field and education and growing connections off the field and will include match analysis and player identification and scouting the opportunities through the Canada Soccer EXCEL program.

By introducing standards at the club level — all of which are informed by best practices in player development from leading nations around the world — Canada Soccer aims to help and support clubs to better focus their efforts on creating the best environment possible for player and coach development.