O Canada, The Home of The Voyageurs Cup. Spring has come and with it .... the Cup
The road to the CONCACAF Champions League
Goes through the Canadian Championship also known as the Amway Canadian Championship. Previously known as The Voyageurs Cup and the Nutrilite Canadian Soccer Championship, 4 Canadian professional soccer clubs will participate in it for Canadian supremacy: Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal Impact and Edmonton FC.
The famous QF loss to Santos Laguna in the 2008-2009 CCL is a big part of the Impact's history. Do not expect the Impact to take the competition lightly. But with an imperative to win and make the MLS playoffs, Marco Schällibaum did confirm that Evan Bush will be the starting goalkeeper in both legs against Toronto FC. Could we expect a big turnover for the 1st leg of the semifinals? I would say some turnover as the club still puts an importance on winning, whether it's the Disney Pro Soccer Classic or the Canadian Championship.
It's nice to have an opponent who is willing to do everything to win. It elevates the challenge, but we are not afraid. We want to absolutely win the game. We respect them as an opponent and we know it won't be an easy first game. It's good to see them motivated. It means we'll have an exciting matchup.
With Canadian bragging rights in play, the quest for the Voyageurs Cup will have to pass through Toronto FC (again). The Club of the Queen City has mustered 4 straight draws in its last 4 MLS games. Winning would have been better for slumping MLS club but the Kevin Payne and Ryan Nelsen touch is definitively having a positive effect.
Format & Schedule
The 2013 Amway Canadian Championship features a four-team format with teams taking part in a two-legged home-and-away semi-final before repeating the same process in the final. The winning club will lift the Voyageurs Cup and earn the right to represent Canada in 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League.
The two winners of both semi-finals will then contest the Championship final over two matches. The highest-seeded team in the Championship final will determine whether it plays home or away first.
1st Leg -- April 24th 2013
Montréal Impact at Toronto FC - BMO Field, Toronto, ON - 19.45 local (19.45 ET / 16.45 PT) - Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific; TVA Sports
Vancouver Whitecaps FC at FC Edmonton - Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, AB - 19.45 local (21.45 ET / 18.45 PT) - Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific
2nd Leg -- May 1st 2013
Toronto FC at Montréal Impact - Stade Saputo, Montréal, QC - 19.45 local (19.45 ET / 16.45 PT) - Sportsnet One; TVA Sports
FC Edmonton at Vancouver Whitecaps FC - BC Place, Vancouver, BC - 19.15 local (22.15 ET / 19.15 PT) - Sportsnet One
1st Leg on May 15th 2013 -- Opponents TBD
2nd Leg on May 29th 2013 -- Opponents TBD