Première Ligue de soccer du Québec
|Number of teams||9 (men's)|
|Level on pyramid||3|
|Domestic cup(s)||Canadian Championship|
|League cup(s)||Coupe PLSQ|
|Current champions||AS Blainville (men’s)|
CS Monteuil (women's)
|Current cup champions||CS Fabrose |
|TV partners||RDS.ca (streaming)|
The Première Ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ) is a semi-professional soccer league created in 2012 and organized by the Quebec Soccer Federation, the third tier of the Canadian soccer pyramid. The Canadian Soccer Association relies on provincial soccer organizations to sanction regional leagues at the tier 3 level. The men's division is below the Canadian Premier League (CPL) (Division I), and equal to League1 Ontario (L1O) (Division III). The PLSQ women's division is behind the U.S.-based National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) (Division I). The league's commissioner is Kambiz Ebadi.
Before the Second World War, soccer was more of a fringe activity[further explanation needed] than today;[when?] however, the best clubs in Quebec were determined in a provincial championship with the winner facing his Ontario counterpart for the title of the "National League". All the players were not amateurs; in 1934, for example, 27 professionals were identified in Quebec. The war brought a halt to Quebec's semi-professional soccer league development.
Mass immigration of quality players and ambitious leaders in the 1950s allowed Quebec to have many semi-professional teams, and even some professional clubs[example needed] until the early 1960s. Organizational and competitive disagreements including unhealthy rivalries coupled with slowing immigration reduced the number of skilled young local players taking over from their predecessors. The player pool shrank.
Beginning in 1986, the semi-professional LNSQ (National Soccer League Quebec), stirred passions by creating very good memories.[according to whom?] However, at that time the pool of players was not large enough to allow the LNSQ to survive alongside a professional team. The arrival of the Montreal Supra, with all the best players and a much greater media profile was fatal to the fledgling league which lost its splendour[clarification needed] before giving way to today’s LSEQ.
In 2011 there are 200,000 players, 300 clubs, 25,000 coaches, 7,000 officials and 50,000 volunteers: soccer is by far the most practised sport in Quebec and is experiencing unparalleled popularity throughout the province. The organization of soccer in Quebec has changed dramatically with the recent competitions reform conducted by the Federation helping to modernize and stabilize the soccer pyramid, but also to considerably raise standards.
For several years,[when?] the senior level teams of the LSEQ (Quebec Elite Soccer League) inquired about a semi-professional competition.
Thanks to the structure of the club set up, the National Centre for High-Performance (NTC), and the Academy youth teams of the Montreal Impact, the number of top players developed in Quebec has increased sharply.[quantify]
Challenges of the past[example needed] are no longer as applicable, and it is hoped[by whom?] the PLSQ will facilitate transitioning between the club set up and amateur LSEQ to Impact de Montreal. Also, the profile of the Montreal Impact will grow with its 2012 entrance to Major League Soccer (MLS). As a result of its promotion, it is much more important for the Impact to develop its own young talent and offer attractive opportunities to players that previously would have moved to Europe.
|2012||5||FC St-Léonard||Not held|
|2013||7||CS Mont-Royal Outremont||CS Mont-Royal Outremont|
|2014||6||CS Longueuil||FC Gatineau|
|2015||7||CS Mont-Royal Outremont||Lakeshore SC|
|2016||7||CS Mont-Royal Outremont||AS Blainville|
|2017||7||AS Blainville||AS Blainville|
|2018||8||AS Blainville||FC Lanaudière|
|2019||9||AS Blainville||CS Fabrose|
|2020[note 1]||6||Not held|
Depending on the number of teams in the league, teams will play every other team between 2-4 times per season, for a length of usually between 15-20 games. The winner gets the regular season championship. At the end of the year, there is a League Cup, which began in 2013. The format varies each season, depending on the number of teams in the league. The most recent Cup competition featured nine teams, where three groups of three teams were formed. The winner of each group along with the best second-place finisher advanced to the semi-finals.
Each team has a minimum of nine paid players and is subject to a salary cap.
The following nine teams are members of the league for the 2020 season. Only six of the teams will participate in the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
|A.S. Blainville||Blainville, Laurentides||Parc Blainville||1986||2012||Emmanuel Macagno|
|Celtix du Haut-Richelieu||Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Montérégie||Stade Alphonse-Desjardins||1969||2020||David Sauvry|
|FC Lanaudière||Terrebonne, Lanaudière||Centre de Soccer Multifonctionnel de Terrebonne||2016||2016||Kevin Mendes Duarte|
|CS Longueuil||Longueuil, Montérégie||Parc Laurier||1970||2014||Aziz Dieng|
|CS Mont-Royal Outremont||Mount Royal, Montréal||Parc Recreatif de TMR||?||2013||Luc Brutus|
|CS Monteuil||Laval, Laval||Centre Sportif Bois-de-Boulogne||1968||2019||Antoine Katako|
|CS St-Hubert||Saint-Hubert, Montérégie||Centre Sportif Roseanne-Laflamme||1980||2017||François Bourgeais|
|CS Fabrose||Laval, Laval||Parc Cartier||1971||2018||Amine Yacine Benmouffok|
|Ottawa South United||Ottawa, Ontario||George Nelms Sports Park||2003||2020||Jim Lianos|
|FC Boisbriand||Boisbriand, Laurentides||Parc Régional 640||1977||2012||2013|
|FC Brossard||Brossard, Montérégie||Parc Illinois||1978||2012||2013|
|FC St-Léonard||St Leonard, Montreal||Stade Hébert||1978||2012||2013|
|ACP Montréal-Nord||Montréal-Nord, Montreal||Parc Saint-Laurent||1974||2014||2014|
|FC L'Assomption-Lanaudière||L'Assomption, Lanaudière||Parc André-Courcelles||2011||2012||2015|
|Lakeshore SC||Kirkland, Montréal||John Abbott College||1966||2015||2016|
|Ottawa Fury FC Academy||Ottawa, Ontario||Algonquin College||2003||2015||2016|
|FC Gatineau||Gatineau, Outaouais||Terrain Mont-Bleu||2013||2013||2019|
|Dynamo de Quebec||Quebec City, Capitale-Nationale||Polyvalente L'Ancienne-Lorette||1991||2017||2019|
|2018||5||Dynamo de Québec||none|
|2020[note 2]||4||AS Blainville||none|
The following nine teams are members of the league for the 2020 season. Only four of the teams will participate in the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
|AS Blainville||Blainville, Laurentides||Parc Blainville||1986||2018||Jean-Lou Gosselin|
|CS Monteuil||Laval, Laval||Centre Sportif Bois-de-Boulogne||2018||2018||Antoine Katako|
|CS Mont-Royal Outremont||Mount Royal, Montréal||Parc Recreatif de TMR||2018||2019||Lyonel Joseph|
|CS Fabrose||Laval||Parc Cartier||2018||2019||Angelo Jean-Baptiste|
|CS St-Hubert||Saint-Hubert, Montérégie||Centre Sportif Roseanne-Laflamme||1980||2020|
|CS Longueuil||Longueuil, Montérégie||Parc Laurier||1970||2020||Gilbert Bayiha|
|AS Pierrefonds||Lac St-Louis, Montreal||?||2020||Carlos Carvalho|
|Ottawa South United||Ottawa, Ontario||George Nelms Sports Park||2003||2020||Abraham Osman|
|Dynamo de Quebec||Quebec City, Capitale-Nationale||ESLE||1991||2018||2019|
|FC Sélect Rive-Sud||Longueuil, Montérégie||Centre Multi Sport||2018||2018||2019|
|Lakers du Lac Saint-Louis||Lachine, Montréal||Dollard 2||2018||2018||2018|
Players in Bold are currently playing for PLSQ clubs.
- Originally 9 clubs were set to participate, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, three clubs withdrew from the season
- Originally 8 clubs were set to participate, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, four clubs withdrew from the season
- "League 1 kicks off Ontario soccer season, offering a chance to rise up the ranks". chatnewstoday.ca. Canadian Press. April 28, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
League 1 Ontario and the PLSQ league in Quebec are sanctioned by the Canadian Soccer Association as Division 3 leagues.
- La Federation De Soccer Du Quebec. "Historique". plsq.ca. Archived from the original on October 15, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
- "À Propos De La Coupe PLSQ" [About the PLSQ Cup]. RDS (in French).