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The OPDL License

Not every club is an OPDL club.  The OPDL is a standard based league and Clubs apply every two years, and have to meet specific standards (Technical, Financial, Facilities, and Operations) in order to be granted an OPDL license.  The Pickering Football Club, is one of only 20 clubs in Ontario that have met these standards.


Players in the OPDL program are going to have different opportunities along their development pathway:

University Student-Athlete Scholarship US & Canada
  • American University/College Coaches have always admired the elite Canadian players. The OPDL training regimen is a guarantee to these coaches, players recognized from the OPDL High Performance Stream will be ready to face the training and competition expectations at Division 1 Program.
  • Our program goal is to focus on preparing our players to play at the university/college level here in Canada and the Eastern Seaboard of the United States
  • OPDL players will be provided with opportunities to be showcased in front of the college/university coaching staff to earn student-athlete scholarships.
Provincial/National Program Identification
  • Starting on their first year as u13, players will be identified by scouts and be invited to try out to be part of the Ontario Provincial and National Program u14
  • Players will be invited to a weekend event in Nov advance to Dec. Jan the team will be finalized and train one weekend a month and compete against Quebec over one weekend in April playing 3 games
League1 Ontario
  • The Pickering Football Club, as a full service club to the community, has also obtained the license to operate teams of both genders in League1 which is owned by the Canadian Premier League.
  • Going forward this can be a great opportunity for Pickering OPDL players to be called up to train and play with our semi pro– teams.
  • This pathway can lead to exposure to Canadian Premier League via Game Analysis Software tracking our players
Toronto FC
  • Scouts from our professional franchise in Ontario, Toronto FC, use the OPDL League as a way to monitor evaluate and select players with potential into their academy programs which are free

What is OPDL

The Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) is the highest level of competition in Ontario for players U13 and up.  Visit Ontario Soccer's OPDL pages for stats, standings, and more!

OPDL isn’t just a league. In fact, competition is a relatively small part of it. The league moves the focus  from solely trying to win a trophy or avoid relegation, to developing players through a structured blend of high performance training and age appropriate play. In the OPDL, you’ll see mandatory heightened training with sport science and sport medicine components, complimenting regular weekly game play against other top players, from May to November.

The OPDL is not for everyone. As the Elite Pathway for players in Ontario, it requires a high level of commitment.

For Players:

  • A full time commitment to training and games.
  • A commitment to excellence and growth

For Parents:

  • Financial and time investment

General Information

  • The program operates from January to November each year with December off
  • The league competition operates from May to November for a total of 20 games
  • East and West Divisions / Home and Away Competition
  • Pickering FC is in the East Competition
  • Majority of Games are played on the weekend
  • Long weekends are not scheduled allowing teams to enter tournaments
  • Mid-Week Games are for travel < 1 hr drive
  • Weekend Games are for travel > 1 hr drive
  • 2 week break in the summer (Last week of July,1st Week of Aug)

Why should your child consider the OPDL...

... rather than other alternative development programs in Ontario?

  • Highest level with intense competition league in Ontario for U13 to U17
  • A professional approach to soccer development based on specific standards
  • Highly qualified National ‘B’ License Coach with Playing Experience
  • Coaches are accountable to meet the coaching development standards and regular assessments by the league
  • Age Specific training development curriculum set by the Canada Soccer technical departments
  • Fitness support staff to develop strength and conditioning
  • Medical support staff to prevent injuries, rehabilitation and sideline recovery training
  • Indoor Dome full field training opportunities
  • Full field outdoor turf and grass facilities
  • Player’s development is monitored and evaluated through the year, based on specific Provincial and National standards
  • OPDL players are scouted regularly with the opportunity to be selected for Provincial and National programs
  • College/University Showcases in the United States twice a year (Additional Fee based on Travel)


  • From January to April players train indoor 3x/week at the Pickering Soccer Centre
  • Age-specific curriculum for experienced coaches to follow from our Director of Soccer Operations who was a u17 National Team Coach for Canada
  • The Head Coach of each team has playing experience and holds a National B License (u14+) (U13 National C License Minimum)
  • Each team has a designated Fitness Trainer
  • The Club has a Sport Medicine provider which will provide onsite medical trainer
  • Player’s Verbal Assessment with one parent present online (done 3 times per year January, April & August)
  • Player’s Written Assessment & submitted to Ontario Soccer signed off by our DSO (done 2 times per year July & November)


  • As a provincial league, there is an expectation of travel from Ottawa to Windsor & Niagara to Aurora
  • Teams will play the ‘home and away’ format with much less travel, more local play.
  • Pickering FC will be in the East Conference meaning 2 trips to Ottawa and Kingston
  • Mid-Week Games are for travel < 1 hr drive
  • Weekend Games are for travel > 1 hr drive


Costs / Payment Plan

High quality development programs, are associate with higher costs with the delivery of the program.  Costs are little higher than a regular competitive program given all the components because:

  • 20 league games (determined for each age group by league administrators at Ontario Soccer)
  • National Licensed coaches with playing backgrounds who continuously invest in themselves to upgrade their accreditations
  • 3 weekly Outdoor training sessions + Fitness session
    • U13, U15 & U17 – Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
    • U14 & U15 – Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
  • 3 Weekly Indoor training sessions + Fitness session (Indoor Tuesday, Thursday & Friday)
  • Quality facilities, sport medicine specialists, soccer specific licensed fitness trainers

The average PFC cost per player annually, from January to November, is between $4000 to $4600** for the year, plus travel expenses (approximately $400).

** Can vary by team/age and is subject to change

Our club provides OPDL families with a monthly payment plan as well as the opportunity to reduce registration costs through a variety of fundraising programs designed to offset the cost.

Page Updated on: December 16, 2022