Lynx’s Failed Move to Hamilton a Blessing in Disguise

The Toronto Lynx will not be moving to Hamilton and to the USL PRO
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, December 05, 2013

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The Toronto Lynx, who currently play in the USL PDL, hoped to move to Hamilton and play in the TiCats Stadium, while also moving to the USL PRO. This plan has, however, been abandoned after lack of support from the TiCats organisation and from the City of Hamilton.

The Lynx wanted to become a professional club and Toronto FC’s affiliate. From one perspective, this might seem a bad thing. And it might be beneficial for Toronto FC in the short-to-medium term, as their youngsters would benefit from an affiliate, where they could gain valuable playing time.

However, for the good of Canadian soccer, it is important that the USA’s third tier soccer league wasn’t allowed into the country.

American based leagues will primarily look at American interests and are likely to cherry-pick the best Canadian markets, leaving little space for a viable Canadian league to grow. And without its own professional league, the future of Canadian soccer is bleak.

Even if MLS and the NASL remain Canada’s Division 1 and 2, the country needs a league where players can go from the youth ranks to professional. The league needs to have Canadian priorities first and not be a side project for a primarily American league.

The Easton Report recommended to the Canadian Soccer Association that Canada should have its own Division 3 with a focus on U-23 players. For this to actually happen, it would have been a huge and problematic hurdle if the CSA had already sanctioned a US Division 3 league playing in the country.

While not having a USL PRO affiliate in Hamilton will hurt Toronto FC for now, this is still great news.

It would have benefitted the team, but it would have certainly hurt the country.

Henrik LONNE

Copenhagen Business School
Club Domestic:
AGF Aarhus
Club Foreign:
Toronto FC
Born and raised in Denmark, the US performance in the 2002 World Cup dragged Henrik into the world of North American soccer. Subsequent trips to Canada made him a Toronto FC fan from abroad. The passion he now has for MLS outshines most European leagues.