(April 30, 2019) The 28th season of the Alberta Major Soccer League will get underway this week, with some exciting changes in store for the Province’s top amateur league.
The men’s division will kick things off first, with games taking place in St. Albert, Edmonton, and Calgary on Wednesday. Women’s games will begin across the province next week, on Wednesday, May 8th.
CPL Development Teams
Until recently, the league featured eight men’s and eight women’s teams, which competed all summer with the goal of earning the Provincial Championship Title and qualifying for Canada Soccer’s Jubilee Shield and Challenge Trophy competitions in the Fall. This season, however, will see two new teams competing on the men’s side after the AMSL welcomed the FC Edmonton and Cavalry FC U20 Development Teams to the mix.
To accommodate the additional teams joining the fold, the men’s season is getting started a week earlier than typical and each team will play 17 games as compared to last year’s 14. It’s important to note, though, that while the FC Edmonton and Cavalry FC’s games will count in the standings, the CPL development teams will not be eligible to compete at Nationals, regardless of their final league standings.
Making an Impact
Over the past 28 years, the AMSL has provided a platform for some of the best amateur players in the Province to develop and train. With the recent launch of the Canadian Premier League, the province has seen many players progress from the Alberta Major Soccer League to the CPL, showing just how valuable the league has been for player development.
“For me, playing in the AMSL was a bridge that connected me to playing professionally again,” said FC Edmonton player, Edem Mortotsi.
After an injury, Mortotsi was out of the game for a few years, but found himself playing with Green and Gold in the AMSL. “By playing in that league and competing week in and week out with the best players in Alberta, it kept me in the best shape I could possibly be in while coming back to full health.”
Mortotsi’s FC Edmonton teammate, Bruno Zebie, echoed his sentiments that the AMSL was a crucial part of his development. At just 15 years old, Zebie had his first taste of the league:
“Playing against the best grown men in the province helped me physically, mentally, technically and tactically,” Zebie explained.
While FC Edmonton was still a part of the NASL, Zebie stepped away from the team due to a lack of game time. Instead, he began playing in the AMSL to increase his time on-field and help with his development. “Fast forward 2 years and I won a PDL championship, then got another chance to shine at the pro level. None of this would’ve been possible without my experience with my youth club and coaches at Juventus as well as my teammates and coaches at Green and Gold, who believed in me and gave me the tools to become a better player and leader. I truly enjoyed my time playing in the AMSL.”
Other New Additions to the League
After qualifying as the 1st place finishers in the EDSA Premier division, St. Albert Impact I Men’s team successfully challenged Edmonton Victoria Men, and will begin competing in the league this year.
Alberta Major Soccer League officials have been preparing as the season approaches, taking part in pre-season meetings and fitness tests over the past few weeks.
27th Season Recap
On the Women’s side, Edmonton Victoria finished 1st at Senior Soccer Fest, leading them to the Canada Soccer National Championships, where they missed out on the podium and earned a 5th place finish. The Men’s division saw Edmonton Scottish earn gold at Provincials and 5th at Nationals.