CPL

Canadian Premier League moves to single season, changes playoff format

The Canadian Premier League is dispensing with its spring and fall split-seasons, moving to a single-table format in 2020.

Split spring and fall seasons no more; top seed earns bye to championship game

Hamilton Forge FC's Tristan Borges controls the ball through the midfield during an August game. On Friday, the Canadian Premier League announced changes to its schedule and playoff format, meaning the Forge will need a different path to repeat. (Peter Power/The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Premier League is dispensing with its spring and fall split-seasons, moving to a single-table format in 2020.

And in another format change from its inaugural 2019 season, the top three clubs will qualify for the playoffs with the standings leader getting a bye to the championship final and No. 2 playing No. 3 to see who joins it.

The season starts April 11 and runs through Oct. 4.

One day after releasing the home opener dates of its eight franchises, the CPL unveiled its full second-season schedule Friday.

Expansion Atletico Ottawa will kick off life in the Canadian league against defending champion Forge FC at Tim Hortons Field on April 18, just 67 days after the franchise was officially unveiled.

The league says more than 90 percent of the matches will be played on holidays or weekends in 2020 with all the clubs playing on Canada Day.

The final matches of the regular season will be played simultaneously on Oct. 4.

The season starts April 11 with a rematch in Hamilton of last year's championship series between Forge FC and Calgary's Cavalry FC. Pacific FC will host FC Edmonton later that day.

York 9 FC entertains HFX Wanderers FC on April 13 and Winnipeg's Valour FC on April 17.

Atletico Ottawa's home opener is May 16 against HFX Wanderers, following road games against Forge FC, HFX Wanderers, Valour FC and York 9.

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