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Canadian Championship scenarios: How Montreal, Toronto can advance as the MLS representative

Will the MLS spot in the 2020 Canadian Championship final go to Toronto FC or the Montreal Impact?

That very question frame’s Montreal’s rematch at the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday evening, which comes shortly after a 4-2 win over Vancouver this past weekend (9:30 pm ET | TSN1/5, TVA Sports in Canada; MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US).

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cup format to get switched around, with the eventual MLS representative facing the Canadian Premier League season winners when the Voyageurs Cup and a 2021 Concacaf Champions League spot are on the line. 

Here’s how the standings are looking, with Montreal needing a win to have any chance of advancing from their all-Canada Phase 1 schedule:

Standings Pts W L D GF GA GD
Toronto FC 12 4 2 0 9 5 +4
Montreal Impact 9 3 2 0 8 5 +3
Vancouver Whitecaps 3 1 4 0 5 12 -7
Updated Sept. 13 at 11:30 pm ET (tiebreakers) 

The first tiebreaker is total wins, and Montreal could draw level with Toronto at four come Wednesday. Then comes goal differential, so a win while scoring two or more goals vs. Vancouver will move the Impact ahead on that tiebreaker.

The third tiebreaker is goals scored, and a 1-0 Montreal win would leave the Impact and Toronto level on wins (4), goal difference (+4) and goals scored (9). Then comes the fourth tiebreaker of away goals differential, and any Impact win will see them advance with a better goal differential in away games. They already earned a 1-0 win at Toronto back on Sept. 1 and have the previous Vancouver victory, so they’re on firm footing there.

But if the Whitecaps win or the game ends in a draw, Toronto will advance to the Canadian Championship final, with the date and location for the match against the Canadian Premier League’s Island Games winner announced later. It also creates a situation where Toronto are watching with bated breath, and likely will be Vancouver fans for the time being. 

The Canadian Championship is held annually, and Montreal won the competition in 2019. That ended a three-year run from Toronto as all three clubs chase a Concacaf Champions League spot alongside MLS competition each season.

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