The Battle of the North returns this June with Ottawa Fury FC eyeing a semi-final rematch against Toronto FC. This year’s competition will feature an additional qualifying round between a pair of new entrants as PLSQ champions AS Blainville meet League1 Ontario champions Oakville Blue Devils with the winner advancing to face Ottawa Fury FC. The second qualifying round over a home and away series is set for June 20 and 27 determining who will advance to the semi-final round and face the reigning Canadian Champions Toronto FC. Vancouver and Montreal will meet in the other semi-final.
The Battle of the North will kick off June 6 in Laval and culminates August 15 when the 11th Canadian Championship winner is presented the Voyageurs Cup earning themselves a place in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League and opportunity to play in the FIFA Club World Cup.
“I love this competition,” said Julian de Guzman, General Manager of Ottawa Fury FC. “I’ve played in the Canadian Championship, I’ve won the Canadian Championship and I’ve coached in the Canadian Championship. The Battle of the North crowns the best team in our country and I know our players and our fans will once again embrace the challenge of this competition.”
Adding teams from the highest levels of competition in Ontario and Quebec builds on the Canadian Content regulations instituted in 2017. All teams were required to start three Canadian players throughout the 2017 Canadian Championship, which will be carried forward in 2018 giving Canadian professionals meaningful minutes in a professional domestic cup competition.
“We are excited to welcome the champions of League1 Ontario and Première ligue de soccer du Québec into an expanded Canadian Championship,” said Canada Soccer General Secretary Peter Montopoli. “This competition is about showcasing Canadian Content at the top level of professional competition and providing an expanded opportunity for Canadian players, clubs and coaches to have the opportunity to compete in a meaningful national competition with the ultimate goal of advancing to the FIFA Club World Cup.”
2017 Canadian Championship winners Toronto FC will open defence of their title in the semi-final round on July 18 when they travel to face the second qualifying round winners. In the other semi-final, Montreal Impact FC will host Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The return leg will be played a week later on July 25.
The semi-final round winners will face off in the first leg of the Canadian Championship final round on August 8 before the final match, which will determine Canada’s 2019 CONCACAF Champions League entry, will be played on August 15.
After falling to FC Edmonton in the qualifying round in their first two years in the competition (2014, 2015), Ottawa Fury FC have reached the semi-final round in back-to-back years winning both fixtures at TD Place against their MLS counterparts only to fall on aggregate in the return leg.
2018 Canadian Championship Schedule
(Home Teams Listed First)
First Qualifying Round (1QR)
June 6 AS Blainville vs. Oakville Blue Devils
June 13 Oakville Blue Devils vs. AS Blainville
Second Qualifying Round (2QR)
June 20 Winner 1QR vs. Ottawa Fury FC
June 27 Ottawa Fury FC vs. Winner 1QR
July 18 Winner 2QR vs. Toronto FC
July 18 Impact Montreal FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
July 25 Toronto FC vs. Winner 2QR
July 25 Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Impact Montreal FC
8 August Winner Semi-Final vs Winner Semi-Final
15 August Winner Semi-Final vs Winner Semi-Final
For more information on the competition, visit www.canadianchampionship.ca
Be part of The Battle of the North by purchasing Ottawa Fury FC season tickets today. Season tickets start as low as $190 for youth and $247 for adults, and include the qualifying round match of the 2018 Canadian Championship. Visit OttawaFuryFC.com/2018-Season-Tickets or call 613.232.6767 X1 for more details.