The road to the 2015 Voyageurs Cup has now been set.
The Canadian Soccer Association on Thursday revealed the schedule for this year’s Amway Canadian Championship, which will follow the same five-team format as last year’s competition.
FC Edmonton and the Ottawa Fury of the NASL will meet in a home-and-away series on April 22 and 29, with the winner joining the three Canadian MLS clubs in the semifinal round.
The winning NASL team will face the Vancouver Whitecaps – who are the top seed in the tournament by virtue of their MLS point total in 2014 – in the semifinals, while Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact will meet in the other semi. Those two-legged contests will take place on May 6 and 13.
The two-legged final, however, will not take place until Aug. 12 and 26, due to a busy summer schedule. Canada is hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup in June and July, while Toronto will be hosting CONCACAF Gold Cup matches and the Pan American Games in July.
The late final means that the winner of this year’s Canadian Championship will qualify for the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League, rather than the 2015-16 edition. Canada’s representative in the 2015-16 CCL will be the Whitecaps, by virtue of being the top Canadian finisher in MLS last season.
The Voyageurs Cup – created and donated to the CSA by Canada’s national-team supporters group – has been awarded to Canada’s top pro club yearly since 2002. Since 2008, it has been awarded to the winner of the Canadian Championship.
The Montreal Impact, last year’s champion, have won the trophy nine times, while Toronto FC have won it four times. Montreal qualified for the 2014-15 CCL by virtue of winning the 2014 Canadian Championship and – after winning their group in the fall – will face Mexican club Pachuca in a two-legged quarterfinal series beginning on Feb. 24.
Canada’s three new USL PRO teams – Whitecaps FC 2, Toronto FC II and FC Montreal – will not compete for this year’s Voyageurs Cup; however, the CSA has expressed a desire to expand the tournament field in the future.
Full 2015 Canadian Championship schedule (Home team listed first):
- April 22 – Ottawa Fury vs. FC Edmonton, Leg 1
- April 29 – FC Edmonton vs. Ottawa Fury, Leg 2
- May 6 – Ottawa Fury/FC Edmonton vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Leg 1
- May 6 – Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC, Leg 1
- May 13 – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Ottawa Fury/FC Edmonton, Leg 2
- May 13 – Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact, Leg 2
- August 12 – Final, Leg 1
- August 26 – Final, Leg 2