On July 10 in Halifax fans were treated to quite a match. Good news for your Fury FC, as we managed to score three and get the win. The 2nd leg is Wednesday, July 24 at TD Place and you must come! It really is an exciting time to be a fan of the beautiful game in Canada. A surging National Team. (Yes, the expectations were high for the Gold Cup, and it didn’t end the way we all wanted, but we are headed in the right direction.) An incredible roster of talent on the Women’s National Team. (Again, not the ending we all hoped for at the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, but we are loaded with young talent and bowing out early will only fuel the squad for next time). A new domestic league. Plenty of Major League Soccer options. Soccer is sweeping the nation and the National Capital Region right now. Of course, Ottawa Fury FC are having quite the season too, eh? Hey, wouldn’t it be great to run a tournament to find the very best team in Canada? Well, it’s been happening for a while, but if you’re just discovering it now... welcome and bienvenue to the Canadian Championship. The Battle of the North! Who will hoist The Voyageurs Cup?
Photo: Vancouver Whitecaps
The Voyageurs Cup - A brief history
Canadian National Team soccer supporters are called The Voyageurs and way back when, in 2002, they decided a trophy was needed. This came soon after the #CanMNT had success in the 2000 Concacaf Gold Cup, winning their very first Gold Cup beating Columbia in the final 2-nil. Many might remember Craig Forrest winning the tournaments’ Most Valuable Player Award. Yes, that Craig Forrest who has since traded in his goalkeeper gloves for a suit and microphone on Rogers Sportsnet’s soccer coverage. The Voyageurs would award the trophy to the Canadian team that had the best record against all the other Canadian clubs. It’s kinda cool that an actual member of The Voyageurs supporter club actually presented the trophy to the winning team. The teams, who at that time all played in the USL A League, were Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Toronto Lynx and Calgary Storm. Fast forward to today and the Canadian Championship has many more teams competing (13 to be exact) and a whole lot more at stake. The winning team gets a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League competition and the winner of that gets a slot in the FIFA Club World Cup where you could be lining up against a club like Real Madrid. Let’s not get too far ahead, let’s focus on this year and how everything rolls out.
Photo: Canada Soccer
How the Canadian Championship works
A bunch of Canadian teams play each other in a home and away series. So, two games; and the best combined score advances to the next round. With the addition of the Canadian Premier League, all three MLS clubs, League 1 Ontario champs, the PLSQ champs and us - the lone Canadian team is USL Championship - all competing, this should be the best Canadian Championship yet. Lots of soccer. Lots of teams. Lots of Canadian talent.
Ottawa Fury FC & Round 3
We play HFX Wanderers FC. We are entering this competition now, in the 3rd Round, but Halifax had to play two rounds to get here. They bested Vaughan Azzuri in Round 1 and then they beat Valour FC of CPL in Round 2. Now they play us.
When Are The Matches?
First leg was July 10 in Halifax and we came away with three all important away goals beating HFX 2-3. NEXT MATCH is July 24 at TD Place in Ottawa. GET TICKETS. The winner is the team with the best aggregate score. (Aggregate score refers to the total score obtained over a 2-legged match).
It’s off to Round 4 for the winner. It's the Semi-Finals and a date with Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC. If it’s us, the matches will be played Aug 7th here in Ottawa and August 17th in Toronto. The winner of that two-game series plays the other semi-finalist winner September 18 and September 25.
Back to the Why This Matters?
Maybe Fury FC defender Nana Attakora can answer that question. He has played in the Canadian Championship and helped power a Toronto FC team to a miracle 6-1 win over Montreal in the final back in 2009
”This competition is a big deal. You’ve got the three Canadian MLS teams in there, and to win you get to go to the Concacaf Champions League. So it’s something we – and every team in Canada really – should take pride in.”
“It’s not going to be easy to beat Halifax, and if we do get past that round, everybody knows Toronto is one of the best teams in North America. We will have to be fearless and know that we have the quality to compete”
Photo: Canada Soccer
Maybe Fury FC GM Julian de Guzman can shed some light on why competing and winning this championship is important:
”The fact that you get to play against other Canadian clubs, from five different leagues (MLS, USL Championship, Canadian Premier League, Ontario League1 and PLSQ) is important. It’s always a treat to have a chance to build and be a part of the growth of the soccer culture in Canada.”
“To get the exposure against these teams is something all players, especially Canadians, look forward to. And then to get a shot at competing in the ultimate competition in our region, the Concacaf Champions League, is the most exciting battle of them all.”
Photo: Canada Soccer
After all, JDG is a three-time winner of this very competition.
So, the Canadian Championship is here and we couldn’t be more excited. Join us at TD Place for a match and you will not be disappointed. The beautiful game in the most beautiful city in the country.
#ForTheFury #PourleFury #CanChamp