The Canadian Championship Is On The Rise
The forgotten Cup in “American” soccer… the Canadian Championship. The Canadian Championship, for those who don’t know, is the domestic cup for Canadian club teams. So even though Toronto FC, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps, etc. play their league games in America they play their domestic cup games in Canada. From 2010-2017 the Canadian Championship only consisted of 3-5 teams. Toronto FC, the Whitecaps, and the Impact all being the top dogs of the competition. But in 2019 the competition got a little more interesting and personally, something I paid way more attention to. This year we saw the introduction to the Canadian Premier League. With the three MLS clubs, one USL club, and seven CPL clubs, and a few smaller club soccer clubs in Canada… the Canadian Championship is at its new all time high with thirteen clubs.
The lower league Canadian clubs and some of the CPL teams entered into the first round of this season’s competition. The CPL teams swept through and made it onto the second round which saw the introduction of the other CPL teams that were not in the first round. Once we hit the third round York9, HFX Wanderers, and Cavalry FC were all onto the clubs that have been around North America before. The Ottawa Fury moved on past HFX Wanderers by the skin of their teeth (5-4 agg.), The Impact barely made it past York9 after a clutch second leg (3-2 agg.), and the biggest surprise of the competition was Cavalry FC defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps on a 2-1 aggregate. We saw the first time a CPL team upset a MLS side in the competition’s FIRST year with CPL teams. That’s big people. The semi-finals had saw reigning champs TFC defeat Ottawa easily 5-0. The Impact also moved on past the CPL side, Cavalry FC (good showing guys!).
Now we are onto the final… reigning champs TFC vs the Montreal Impact. The Canadian Classique. Toronto FC have won this competition seven of the eleven times the Canadian Championship has existed. TFC will also be looking to win its fourth straight CanChamp. The Impact have won it three times in the competition’s history as well. The last time these two teams squared off was in MLS play where TFC came away with a 2-1 win. I think with current form of these clubs, the experience from Greg Vanney, and how these teams have faired against each other… Toronto FC pulls this one off. I could be wrong, and my major point for that is Wilmer Cabrera. Cabrera is FANTASTIC at tournament style competitions and even won the 2018 U.S. Open Cup. This game should be a good one but I think the larger concept to take away from the 2019 Canadian Championship is the direction of the competition.