Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Canada: Club Championship prepares for big kick-off

Posted in North and Central American Football by peterbein on April 27, 2010
Voyageurs Cup

The Voyageurs Cup is awarded to the winners of the Canadian Championship

Canada is preparing itself for the third edition of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship which takes place from April 28th with the first game between Toronto FC and Montreal Impact and finishes on June 2nd with Toronto’s final match of the tournament at home to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Toronto FC, who won the event last season on goal difference from Vancouver, are favourites to win their second title but there’s a chance that they could play weakened teams in the event which runs along the Major League Soccer (MLS) season. Neither Vancouver nor Montreal are MLS teams yet although the former have been officially announced as an expansion city for 2011 with the latter hoping to join them not long after. Nonetheless the tournament will prove to be very competitive as it has been in the previous two years of the event.

The inaugural championship kicked off on the 27th May, 2008 with Toronto FC defeating their hosts from Montreal 1-0 thanks to a lone strike from Puerto Rican defender Marco Vélez. That, however, was to be Montreal’s only defeat in the tournament as they defeated Vancouver home and away before securing a point away at Toronto who surprisingly lost points at Vancouver to gift the Impact the first ever Canadian Championship tournament by two points. The second tournament in 2009 was a two-horse race between Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps. Toronto FC defeated Vancouver 1-0 on the opening day of the tournament but Vancouver would get their own back on Matchday 5 with a 2-0 home victory. Thismeant that both teams matches against the Impact would gain significance especially as both teams won all their matches against Montreal. On Matchday 6, the final match of the event, Toronto FC heavily defeated the Impact at their home stadium 6-1 to shade the title on goal difference from Vancouver and take the Voyageurs Cup.

In each case the winners of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship went on to receive a berth in the qualifying rounds of the CONCACAF Champions League and this season is no different, therefore underlying how important this competition is to those concerned. Naturally Toronto FC are the favourites to win it again due to their greater experience but one cannot rule out the others completely in such a short tournament.

NUTRILITE CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP

April 28th: Toronto FC v Montreal Impact

May 5th: Vancouver Whitecaps v Montreal Impact

May 12th: Montreal Impact v Toronto FC

May 19th: Vancouver Whitecaps v Toronto FC

May 26th: Montreal Impact v Vancouver Whitecaps

June 2nd: Toronto FC v Vancouver Whitecaps

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