The Impact de Montreal celebrates after winning the 2013 Amway Canadian Championship. (Photo courtesy of Canada Soccer)
OTTAWA -- Canada Soccer announced today that its Amway Canadian Championship will move to a new summer timeframe starting in 2015.
The change -- approved by CONCACAF’s Executive Committee -- requires a transition over the next three editions of the competition, which will impact the qualification format that determines the Canadian representative in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL).
The 2014 Amway Canadian Championship will be played in its current design and timeframe with the winner earning the right to represent Canada in the 2014/2015 CONCACAF Champions League.
This year’s competition – the seventh in its history -- starts on April 23 and features the country’s five professional clubs.
The 2015 edition of the Amway Canadian Championship will shift to a June and July timeframe, after completion of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM and respecting the CONCACAF Gold Cup dates. The champion of the 2015 Amway Canadian Championship will represent Canada in the 2016/2017 CONCACAF Champions League.
Given the revised timeframe for the 2015 event, the competition will not be played in time to determine the Canadian representative for the 2015/2016 CONCACAF Champions League. As a result, the participating clubs agreed that the Canadian team with the most points at the end of the 2014 MLS regular season would be appointed as the national association’s representative for the 2015/2016 CONCACAF Champions League.
“Canada Soccer recognizes that the transition may be confusing in the short term, but we’re confident it will benefit the competition in the longer term,” said Victor Montagliani, Canada Soccer President. “This new format will allow the Amway Canadian Championship to grow, becoming even more of a Canadian showcase of professional soccer as our sport continue to evolve.”
Starting in 2016 and for subsequent editions, the Amway Canadian Championship will resume its format and be played in a new, more club and fan friendly timeframe of June and July, with the winner representing Canada in the following season’s CCL.
“The move to the new timeframe was proposed in response to some of our participating clubs concerns and allows for more flexibility in the competition structure around professionalization of the sport and potential expansion,” added Montagliani. “But more importantly, we believe it will make it a more enjoyable experience for fans across the country.”
Every year, the Amway Canadian Championship pits Canada’s professional clubs – newest member Ottawa Fury FC (NASL), FC Edmonton (NASL), Impact de Montreal (MLS), Toronto FC (MLS) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS) – against each other in a knock-out home and away series to determine a champion that will lift the Voyageurs Cup and earn the right to represent the country in the CCL.
Toronto FC has won the tournament a record four times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), while Montreal has captured it on two occasions (2008, 2013). In CCL play, Toronto’s reached the semifinals in 2012/13, while the Impact advanced to the quarterfinals in 2008/09. Coincidentally, both sides were eliminated by Mexico’s Santos.