Canada will now have two spots on the path to the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. Canada 1 will be represented by the 2019 Canadian Championship winner and Canada 2 will feature an entry from the Canadian Premier League.
“We pride ourselves on providing Canadians with expanded opportunities to compete in and attend competitions at the highest levels of international soccer,” said Peter Montopoli, General Secretary, Canada Soccer.
2019 Canadian Championship Draw results are first step to determine Canada 1
The expanded 13 team, 24 match 2019 Canadian Championship schedule is now complete after a Draw conducted by Canada Soccer. Across five rounds featuring home and away matches, the Battle of the North will kick off 15 May with three matches featuring three teams playing in three different leagues across three different provinces. Opening round matches will take place in Vaughan, Ontario, Calgary, Alberta, and Laval, Quebec as teams look to hoist the Voyageurs Cup and move closer to a chance to earn a first-ever Canadian berth in the FIFA Club World Cup.
“The Canadian Championship has provided a tremendous springboard for Canadian players and Canada’s professional teams to gain invaluable experience in international competition with Toronto FC, Montreal Impact FC, and the Vancouver Whitecaps having advanced deep into the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League,” Montopoli said. “The opening round matchups kick off a unique coast-to-coast competition with Canadian Championship matches hosted in five different Canada Soccer Member Association provinces.”
Qualifying Round 1 will feature matches one to three respectively on 15 May: 2018 League1 Ontario (L1O) Champions Vaughan Azzurri will play host to HFX Wanderers FC; the Canadian Premier League’s (CanPL) Cavalry FC will play host to Pacific FC; with 2017 and 2018 Première Ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ) champions AS Blainville will play host to York9 FC in matches one through three respectively on 15 May. The return leg will be played on 22 May.
In Qualifying Round 2, the winners of matches one through three Qualifying Round 1 will face Canadian Premier League clubs FC Edmonton, Forge FC, and Valour FC who enter the competition in this round. The opening leg will take place on 5 June with the return leg going 12 June.
Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs Montreal Impact FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and United Soccer League’s (USL) Ottawa Fury FC are set to kick off their Canadian Championship in Qualifying Round 3 when they’ll meet the winners of matches 4 through 6 away on 10 July returning home for the second leg on 24 July.
The Semi-Final Round will see Toronto FC (MLS) join the competition as they travel to meet the match seven winner on 7 August, along with the winners of match eight and nine competing in the second semi-final. The higher seed of the winners of match seven and eight will host the second leg in the Semi-Final Round scheduled for 14 August.
The 2019 Canadian Championship winner and Canada 1 entrant into the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League will be determined over two legs on 18 and 25 September. The Voyageurs Cup and George Gross Memorial Trophy will be awarded on 25 September to the Champions and competition’s most valuable player.
Concacaf League expansion results in addition of Canada 2
In 2019, Canada Soccer will use the home and away matches in the Canadian Premier League regular season between FC Edmonton, Forge FC, and Valour FC to determine who advances to the Preliminary Round of the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League. Consistent with seeding for the Canadian Championship based on membership, these three inaugural teams will be provided with a unique opportunity for this season to earn the Canada 2 spot in Scotiabank Concacaf League. Starting in 2020, the 2019 Canadian Premier League champion will earn the right to be designated as Canada 2 in Scotiabank Concacaf League.