Kristian Jack: Canadian Championship Final To Take Place On March 20
Prominent soccer journalist Kristian Jack is stating that the belated 2020 Canadian Championship Final will take place on Saturday, March 20 at BMO Field.
The domestic cup tie between MLS side Toronto FC and reigning CPL champions Forge FC needs to take place before the international break at the end of March. We speculated that the fixture would need to take place in Mid-March a month ago, with Toronto FC head coach Chris Armas recently throwing out March 20 as a potential date, too.
With permission from local health authorities and Major League Soccer, Toronto FC started its preseason early with this domestic cup tie in mind. The historic match goes beyond domestic honours, though: the winner will qualify for the 2021 Champions League, with the eventual Voyageurs Cup holder set to face Liga MX side Club Leon in a two-legged affair next month.
Toronto FC recently announced the return of left-back Justin Morrow and longtime TFC defender Eriq Zavaleta, while defender Laurent Ciman has joined the coaching staff at CF Montreal. The Reds will be firm favourites for the cup tie, especially given that Forge FC hasn’t begun its own preseason training camp yet.
While Bradley had once gone on record to say many of his teammates were looking forward to a domestic cup battle in a CPL venue, it looks like the one-off final will take place at BMO Field.
Back-to-back Canadian Premier League champions Forge FC currently have fifteen players rostered ahead of the cup bout, though it is expected that former CPL star Tristan Borges will be returning to the side in short order. The club’s roster also includes former Toronto FC players Kyle Bekker and Molham Babouli, which is sure to add some extra fire to the cup final.
A cup upset between CPL and MLS competitors isn’t unprecedented, with Cavalry FC defeating Vancouver Whitecaps over two legs in 2019 and York United having come a last-gasp crossbar away from a first leg upset against CF Montreal. Since this belated cup final is effectually taking place amidst both club’s preseason campaigns, however, it’s not clear how match-ready either side will be. The cup final will also be the first match in charge for TFC head coach Chris Armas.
This will be Forge FC’s third chance to qualify for the 2021 Champions League, with the side having lost its Concacaf League quarter-final against Arcahaie FC and a subsequent Champions League play-in against CD Marathon late last year. Toronto FC, who went all the way to the Champions League Final in the year following a historic treble-winning season, are well-versed in the competition.
Of course, the first step towards Champions League action is winning the Canadian Championship Final set to take place later on this month. With both Chris Armas and Kristian Jack mentioning the date, it’s a near-certainty that the cup bout will take place on March 20. That being said, the CSA has yet to make both the date and location official.