28 June 2024

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weekend preview

Whether it’s about silverware, rivalries, or promotion and relegation, there are crucial matches taking place everywhere you look in League1 Ontario.

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Looking up the standings

There’s a rare Friday-night fixture in the Men’s Premier Division this week with North Toronto hosting Guelph United. Just a point separates these sides in the bottom half of the table, with both having won just once in their last five.

The usual Friday-night flurry in the Men’s Championship is on the cards, and there are some important matches too. TFC Academy take on BVB IA Waterloo and would go top – at least for the night – with their seventh victory of the season.

Perhaps there will be more eyes at the bottom of the division with four teams on eight points, and two of clubs in action. St Catharines Roma Wolves host Darby and bottom side North Mississauga welcome Unionville Milliken – two challenging opponents for the two clubs looking over their shoulder.

In the Women’s Championship, Hamilton United and Pickering are outsiders for the title on 16 points – five points behind the leaders Scrosoppi. They face Darby and BVB IA Waterloo respectively, with Waterloo aiming to end Friday at the top of the standings.

Fight for survival

Reigning Women’s Premier Division champions Alliance United are in a precarious position having not won since May 20. They currently occupy the relegation playoff spot, and are three points behind Guelph United who are above them in the standings.

Both sides are on the road on Saturday, with Alliance visiting tough opponents in FC London and Guelph taking on North Mississauga with a place in the top half of the table potentially up for grabs.

There’s also a huge battle in the Men’s Premier relegation picture with Sigma hosting Hamilton United. Three points for Sigma – something they’ve achieved in their last two outings – could see them vacate the relegation playoff spot, but a win for Hamilton will see their Saturday hosts dragged right back into the battle to avoid automatically going down to the Championship.

There will also be plenty of eyes at the other end of the table with the previously unbeaten Burlington, who haven’t won in three games, hosting Woodbridge Strikers. Both sides are on 19 points at the top of the standings.

Scrosoppi sit fourth and are firmly in the fight for the title with games in hand. They are the only undefeated side left in the division and could go top with three points against ProStars on Saturday.

Every game matters

Windsor City will want victory against Master’s FA to avoid being sucked into the Men’s Championship relegation pack where Master’s currently are. Pickering are also at risk of relegation and they have perhaps the toughest opponents of the weekend – table-toppers FC London.

The current Women’s Championship leaders Scrosoppi haven’t lost in the league since the end of April, but two ties in their last two matches have put their lead in jeopardy. They’ll be looking for a much-needed victory on Sunday against Rush Canada who have their own relegation worries to suppress.

Unionville Milliken and Burlington are also at opposite ends of the standings with Unionville in the title race and Burlington on the same points as Rush.

Sudbury Cyclones visit Simcoe County Rovers B in Men’s League2; this will be the reverse leg of Sudbury’s 4-0 victory against the Rovers in May which kickstarted a five-game winning streak. The Borough FC have had opposite fortunes in the Central Conference and they’ll be aiming for their first win since the start of June against ProStars B.

Pressure at the top

It’s top versus bottom in the Women’s Premier on Sunday with Blue Devils taking on in-form NDC Ontario who are still unbeaten in the division this season.

The two other teams in the division’s top three, North Toronto and Woodbridge Strikers, are also in action. North Toronto need three points against mid-table Vaughan Azzurri to maintain pressure on the leaders, with Woodbridge hosting Simcoe County Rovers.

Men’s Premier title contenders Alliance United are also in action on Sunday, looking to maintain the division’s best points-per-game ratio. They are in prime position for the title at this early stage with their games in hand, and Vaughan Azzurri are their first opponents to their title charge.

Mid-table Blue Devils also host Simcoe County Rovers; the Oakville side have lost their last two, while the boys from Barrie have tied their last two.

It’s a similar matchup in the Women’s Championship on Sunday with sixth-placed ProStars hosting eighth-placed Tecumseh United, but the latter have plenty to fight for given that they are only one point above the bottom two sides in the division.

In Women’s League2, St Catharines Roma Wolves conclude the final full week of crossover matches by hosting North Mississauga B. While the crossovers have led to mixed results for St Catharines, they are still firmly in conference title contention behind Rush Canada B.

Published On: 28 June 2024

League1 Ontario staff