July 24, 2024
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2024 Canadian Championship

2024 Canadian Championship Details: Format, Draw, And Kickoff

By on February 22, 2024 0 1941 Views

At long last, fans now know what the 2024 Canadian Championship will look like.

This year’s iteration of the tournament will feature fourteen clubs and nineteen matches, with the closed-door draw for the preliminary round taking place tomorrow.

Formally called the Telus Canadian Championship, here’s the details on Canada’s domestic cup tournament.

The preliminary round will see twelve clubs divided regionally into east and west brackets, with the six matches between them set to take place between April 23 and May 1.

The western clubs who can host are Pacific FC, Vancouver FC, and Cavalry FC, while the western clubs who cannot host are Valour and the Victoria Highlanders. The eastern club bracket is larger, with Forge, York United, Atletico Ottawa, Toronto FC, Halifax Wanderers, Simcoe County Rovers, and CS-St-Laurent all-in, though one of them will be drawn into the west to balance the regional pots.

There are some caveats: the eastern team drawn in the western group will automatically host Valour, who is the ‘eastern-most’ team in the west pot who can’t host due to the turf upgrades currently ongoing at Princess Auto Stadium. Secondly, no semi-professional teams can be drawn against one another in the preliminary phase.

League1 Ontario Simcoe County Rovers
The Simcoe County Rovers will make their Canadian Championship debut. (Photo Credit: Martin Bazyl / League1 Ontario)

The winners of those matches will progress to the quarter-finals, where reigning cup champions Vancouver Whitecaps and runners-up CF Montreal have received byes. Vancouver will be seeded against a western pot team, while Montreal will face a team progressing from the east pot.

The quarter-finals will switch to a home-and-away format with all matches taking place throughout the month of May. The four clubs left after that will continue to the two-legged semi-final, with the first leg taking place between July 9-10 and the second taking place some time later on August 27-28.

Following the preliminary phase and quarter-finals, a secondary draw will determine the semi-final matches and host club for the final to eliminate regionalization for the semi-final and final stage of the tournament – a move that we think is quite a nice update.

2023 Canadian Championship Winners Vancouver Whitecaps
Photo Credit: Vancouver Whitecaps

The 2024 Canadian Championship Final will then take place in a single match format on September 24 or 25.

Canada Soccer has quite a bit on its plate, so the belatedness of the Canadian Championship format and draw details isn’t altogether unsurprising – particularly given that their general secretary recently stepped down on their first day last month. All-told, however, the format looks to be a solid one.

It’s also the first-ever Canadian Championship appearance for semi-pro sides Victoria Highlanders (League1 BC), Simcoe County Rovers (League1 Ontario), and CS Saint-Laurent (League1 QC).

It is expected, though not confirmed, that the 2024 Canadian Championship will be available on OneSoccer, though Canadian Soccer Business and Mediapro are still sorting out the details following their legal dispute.

Tomorrow’s draw will be a ‘virtual closed-door draw process’, so fans shouldn’t expect any livestream before the formal draw details are released.

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