For years often an afterthought when it came to sports, the Maritimes is now an area of huge potential with a fast growing population, and the HFX Wanderers have showcased the regions love for soccer. We’ve already hypothesised a possible League 1 Prairies scenario, now it’s time to ‘complete’ the League 1 Canada landscape with a league out East. Keep in mind that due to logistics, a Newfoundland team won’t be included in this list, although it would be a natural expansion site.
Moncton, New Brunswick
We start with Moncton, a host city for the 2015 FIFA World Cup and the biggest city in New Brunswick. Moncton has a population of 157,717 and has plenty of experience in hosting soccer games. Not only did they host World Cup games in 2015, but it was also used for the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup, so there is clearly potential here, and Moncton is as close to a no-brainer as you get for a League 1 Maritimes.
Potential Name: CF Hub City – New Brunswick is a bilingual city. Having a francophone element to the name combined with an anglophone element is a perfect homage to the city’s culture. Throw in Moncton’s nickname being ‘Hub City’, and you have a name.
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Fredericton is the third largest city in New Brunswick, and with a metro population of 108,610, the capital of the province would be a great fit for the league. Fredericton has a healthy university population in the city and this could hopefully be utilised as the demographic of soccer fans in Canada tends lean young.
Potential Name: Fredericton FC – The Freds, The Freddie’s, The Ton – just three possible nicknames the fans could adopt for their club. In this case it’s best to keep the name simple, let the fans latch onto a nickname from the city’s long name and take it from there!
Saint John, New Brunswick
The last New Brunswick city, Saint John is once again a no-brainer being of a similar size to the other NB cities mentioned so far. With the inclusion of the three New Brunswick cities, it would be fun to have a Cascadia Cup-esque tournament in which an overall regular season champion of New Brunswick is deduced. Perhaps it could be called the Acadia Cup?
Potential Name: Port City FC
St John is known as Port City, owing to the city’s geographical position on the Bay of Fundy. St John is Canada’s first incorporated city. It was given city status 1785 and has the moniker of Canada’s Original City. Along the lines of Juventus’ nickname of the ‘Grand old lady’, I’m sure the good people of St John could come up with a nickname fairly easily.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Another obvious inclusion, no League 1 Maritimes could be complete without Charlottetown, the biggest city on Prince Edward Island. Of course, Charlottetown is no stranger to soccer as of late. The city was the bubble host site for the shortened 2020 CPL season, and it would be great to see the professional soccer pyramid return to the island.
Potential Name: Confederation United FC – A wordy one, but the wordy ones are easy to make nicknames out of. The name of course comes directly from Charlottetown being the birthplace of Canadian confederation, with United fitting in perfectly with that concept.
S. 2 Ep. 21: Canada Doing What Canada Does – FC13 Podcast
Two teams from Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax has been a huge success for the CPL. Crowds at the Wanderers Ground are consistently amongst the highest in the league and the growth potential for soccer in Halifax seems to be sky-high! So let’s capitalise on it. Let’s have two League 1 teams. Halifax has a population that could support it, and perhaps we can even have games between the two can be played at the home of HFX as part of a League 1 – CPL double header?
Potential Name(S): Halifax City and Halifax United – Just like the two Manchester clubs in England, a City and United will share the city, although imagine a sky blue and a red team aesthetic will probably be unnecessary!
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Akin to many of the other cities in the GTA, it can be easy to immediately tie Dartmouth and Halifax together – however they are both their own cities, and having a team to call their own would help build that civic pride even more!
Potential Name: Dartmouth Albion – We don’t have any Albions in Canada, it’s a fairly common name for teams in the UK and would roll off the tongue well. With HFX being the Wanderers, why not have Dartmouth be the Albion?
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
The north island of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton is genuinely one of the most beautiful parts of Canada and it would be a privilege for this hypothetical league to have away day opportunities in a land filled with history, beaches, and highlands. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has a population of 90,000, more than capable of hosting a team with Sydney being the most likely host site.
Potential Name: Cape Breton Celtic – Pronounced ‘Keltic’ unlike the Scottish football team, the name would be an homage to the Scottish diaspora in the area.
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