Canada Soccer has unveiled the 2020 Canadian Championship format.
Twelve clubs from across the nation will take part in the competition in a quest to hoist the Voyageurs Cup, with all seven Canadian Premier League teams taking part. The three MLS sides — Toronto FC, Montreal Impact, and Vancouver Whitecaps — all have byes to the quarter-finals, as does CPL outfit Cavalry FC, who made it to the semifinals of the 2019 competition by topping the Whitecaps.
In a change from 2019, next year’s competition will have just four rounds.
“The Canadian Championship provides Canada’s professional clubs and those playing in standards-based leagues with the direct qualification route to the Concacaf Champions League competition,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer General Secretary, in a statement. “Canada Soccer is proud to provide international playing opportunities to its member professional clubs and deliver an exciting Voyageurs Cup competition to fans from coast-to-coast.”
The tournament kicks off with its first slate of matches taking place between June 16–18. The quarter-finals go down in mid-July, the semifinals in August, and the final will be contested in September. As has been the case in past years, the champion will qualify as Canada’s representative in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League.
Forge FC Hamilton will face Valour FC in the qualifying round. The first leg of the round will take place in Winnipeg on June 16th, 2020 with the second leg taking place from Tim Hortons Field on June 25th, 2020. Should Forge advance past Valour they will face off against Cavalry FC in the quarter-final round.
Canada Soccer indicated that geography was taken into consideration when creating the 2020 tournament’s bracket, with the potential for several local matchups in both the first and subsequent rounds. Particularly enticing in the quarter-finals are a possible B.C. showdown between Pacific and Vancouver, as well as a Toronto derby between York9 and TFC.
The Montreal Impact won their fourth Canadian Championship in 2019, defeating holders Toronto FC on penalties at BMO Field. As champions, they’ll participate in the 2020 Concacaf Champions League, taking on Honduran side Saprissa in the first round.