The Canadian Premier League announced on Thursday the full format of the 2021 CPL season, revealing how the next North Star Shield champion will be decided.
The league, in a press conference with commissioner David Clanachan, revealed that each CPL club will play 28 total games in 2021, with a single-table format running throughout the competition. At the conclusion of the regular season schedule (112 matches in total), the top four teams in the standings will progress to a playoff round to decide the CPL champion — the first-place side will host the fourth, and the second-place team will host the third in single-knockout semi-final games, with the two winners meeting in a one-game CPL Final (hosted by the higher-seeded team).
This year’s season will begin this Saturday, June 26, with all eight clubs convening in Winnipeg, Manitoba for The Kickoff, presented by Volkswagen — the CPL’s month-long event in which each team will play eight of their regular season matches at IG Field in a safe environment. Atlético Ottawa and FC Edmonton will open proceedings on Saturday (2 pm ET/1 pm CT, live on OneSoccer).
After the conclusion of The Kickoff on July 24, each CPL team will return to its home market to play out the remainder of the schedule.