Live: 2023 Canadian Championship Draw Results
The preliminary round draw of the 2023 Canadian Championship has just concluded, revealing six enticing matchups involving no less than twelve teams, with the home and away matchups all the way through to the final now determined as well.
The live draw, presented by Terry Dunfield, Tosaint Ricketts, and Canada Soccer’s Richard Scott, took place live on OneSoccer and provided a recipe for drama aplenty as largest iteration of the tournament comes to fruition. Here’s a recap on the draw process, should one need a refresher.
Without further ado, here’s the the opening matches of the 2023 Canadian Championship which will take place from April 18-20:
Match 1: TSS Rovers vs. Valour FC
It’s a Canadian Championship debut for the TSS Rovers, who will face professional opposition (and two former players) in Winnipeg’s Valour FC. The semi-professional League1 BC side are the lowest-ranked team of the entire tournament, so it’ll be interesting to see how they stack up against professional opposition.
For Valour, it’s an opportunity to showcase themselves after putting on a brave face against reigning champs Vancouver Whitecaps last year and having had the tournament’s golden boot winner in 2021.
Match 2: Pacific FC vs. Cavalry FC
Two CPL heavyweights who have both upset MLS competition in the past will clash right out of the gate in a match that has been ramifications for the cup as a whole: both are teams who will expect to run deep into the tournament, but only one will advance through the preliminary round. Both clubs kept a fair chunk of their core, so it’ll be interesting to see who gets the hot start.
It’s worth noting that the winner of this match is guaranteed to avoid MLS opposition all the way through to the final, so both sides will see this as a golden history to put themselves well in range of silverware.
Match 3: York United vs. Vancouver FC
York United found themselves being the sole eastern pot team drawn into the west, where the live draw determined they’ll play host to expansion side Vancouver FC. It’ll be an enticing matchup to watch, especially with former York United striker Mamadou Kane suiting up for an away trip against his former side, and Vancouver FC hoping to establish itself as a formidable opponent.
By the way, that means York United will host Vancouver FC in back-to-back matches, both midweek in the cup action and then in league play the following weekend.
Match 4: Forge FC vs. FC Laval
For the second year running, CPL heavyweight Forge FC will host PLSQ competition in the opening round of the Canadian Championship. Last year saw them enjoy a two-nil (though not comfortable) win over CS Mont-Royale Outremont, so there’s no doubt Bobby Smyrniotis won’t be taking this match up lightly.
For PLSQ champions FC Laval, it’s certainly one of the tougher matchups they could have experienced – there’s a lot to do for the Quebecois side following their history championship title. Still, both teams can now envision a path to the final that doesn’t include MLS opposition should they advance to the quarter-final stage.
Match 5: Halifax Wanderers vs. Atletico Ottawa (Neutral Site Match)
Played at a neutral venue, Patrice Gheisar’s second match in charge out east will see him avoid former side Vaughan Azzurri to face the CPL’s reigning regular season champions instead. There’ll be plenty of eyes watching to see how the Wanderers take sharp early on under Gheisar’s system, with Atletico Ottawa fans will be hoping to rack up some wins in the domestic cup.
Match 6: CF Montreal vs. Vaughan Azzurri
In a true David-versus-goliath matchup, CF Montreal will play host to reigning League1 Ontario champions Vaughan Azzurri, who will have it all to do: should the League1 Ontario invincibles get through an MLS side in the preliminary round, they’ll then face TFC. CF Montreal, who have historically progressed deeply into the tournament, will be quite pleased with the opener – and a potential chance to knock out TFC in the following round, too.
Both reigning champion Vancouver Whitecaps and runner-up Toronto FC were handed byes through to the quarter-final.
The draw has also determined that the Vancouver Whitecaps will play away against the winner of match three, which will either be York United or Vancouver FC. It also determined that Toronto FC will host a quarter-final match against either CF Montreal or Vaughan Azzurri. It was also determined that the winner of match two (Pacific or Cavalry) will host the their own quarter-final of the west, while the winner of match four (Forge or FC Laval) will play away in the east.