Canada Soccer has announced both the schedule and format for the 2021 Canadian Championship, which will see 13 participants in a single knock-out competition culminating in the Final in October 2021.
As per Monday's release, the competition will feature the three Canadian-based MLS teams, all Canadian Premier League clubs, and the 2019 champions from League1 Ontario (L1O) and Premiere Ligue de Soccer du Quebec (PLSQ).
“We are excited to see the return of the Canadian Championship in 2021 with an updated brand identity and the return of the 13-team format that makes the competition truly and uniquely Canadian,” Canada Soccer President Dr. Nick Bontis said in Monday's announcement. “As we turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to returning to stadiums filled with fans cheering their clubs on in pursuit of a chance to play in the Concacaf Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup competitions.
The competition will kick off on August 15 with a matchup between CPL sides FC Edmonton and Cavalry FC, which will mark the first of five Preliminary Round matches in August. The Vancouver Whitecaps will begin the competition at this stage against Pacific FC on Aug. 26.
Three teams will receive a bye to the Quarterfinals, with 2019 Canadian Championship winners CF Montréal, and 2020 Canadian Championship Finalists Toronto FC and Forge FC entering the competition in the Quarterfinals that will take place between September 14-22. The semifinals are scheduled to kick off on September 28.
All rounds after the Preliminary Round will be scheduled pending league schedule confirmation and public health guidelines.
Canadian Championship Preliminary Round Schedule
- Sunday, August 15 – FC Edmonton vs. Cavalry FC
- Thursday, August 26 – Pacific FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
- Saturday, August 21 – York United FC vs. Masters Futbol Academy
- Tuesday, August 17 – HFX Wanderers FC vs. AS Blainville
- Saturday, August 21 – Atlético Ottawa vs. Valour FC