Canada Soccer enters new era under Reed with approval of Canadian Premier League

Canada Soccer names new president and declares their support for Canada's joint bid with the United States and Mexico for the 2026 World Cup as well as the formation of the Canadian Premier League.

Steve Reed to succeed Victor Montagliani as president

Canada's Nik Ledgerwood celebrates his goal against El Salvador during second half FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer action in Vancouver on September 6, 2016. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Canada Soccer is trumpeting a major milestone as their membership approved the Canadian Premier League.

The sport's governing body in Canada says the unanimous endorsement encourages further growth of the game in the country through a professional league that is fully aligned with the National Teams Program.

The 2017 annual meeting of the members also featured the election of Steve Reed as Canada Soccer's 34th president. Reed will serve the remaining three years of Victor Montagliani's four-year term, who leaves the post after being elected president of CONCACAF.

"I would like to thank the Canada Soccer Membership for the opportunity as we continue the incredible momentum for the sport of soccer in our country," Reed said in a press release. "This was an important day for our sport with the unaminous approval of the Canadian Premier League along with Hamilton and Winnipeg as new members of the Association and the overwhelming support for the 2026 FIFA World Cup joint bid with USA and Mexico.

"I look forward to serving the membership and building on the legacy of Victor Montagliani's leadership of the past five years."

The Canadian Premier League says it has received expressions of interest from 10 cities from across the country to participate in an all-Canadian professional soccer league and will look to evaluate those candidates in the next few months.

The CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers confirmed they are looking into creating a Manitoba-based franchise for the Canadian Premier League and that there is also an ownership group in Hamilton, Ont. interested in starting a soccer team.

The league is targeting a start date in the fall of 2018.