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Here’s The 2024 Canadian Premier League Home Openers

By on January 18, 2024 0 1450 Views

All eight home openers for the sixth Canadian Premier League season have now been revealed by the league.

The 2024 CPL season will kick off on Saturday, April13, 2024, with a triple-header of matches keeping fans busy from coast-to-coast before a lone Sunday match concludes the festivities. The visiting sides follow quickly with their own home openers, with one exception. The full regular season schedule will be announced on January 23.

Atletico Ottawa Diego Espejo
Photo Credit: Matt Zambonin / Freestyle Photography

The first match of the campaign will see Atletico Ottawa host York United at 1:00PM EST. The two sides have had some heated clashes in the nation’s capital before, and both clubs have a lot of motivation to start strong: the Nine Stripes are in a new era of ownership, while Atletico Ottawa will be chomping at the bits to restore themselves as a playoff-worthy side. With ATO’s season ticket memberships on the rise, we’re hoping to see a good crowd take in the scenes at TD Place.

The second match will follow at 4:00PM EST over in Hamilton, where the reigning CPL champions Forge FC will take on – you guessed it – Cavalry FC in a repeat of the 2023 CPL Final. The two sides went to extra time with a cup on the line in October, where a crowd of 13,925 fans saw three spectacular goals and two clubs who always give everything they have against one another.

The final match of the opening day will see a coastal clash as Pacific FC hosts the Halifax Wanderers at Starlight Stadium, representing another spicy repeat from the playoffs: there was a lot left unsaid in a match that nearly ended up in brawls, with both sides entering the season on question marks: will Gheisar start 2024 faster than he did last season? How will Pacific have adjusted to what has been a tough offseason so far? Ultimately, we’ll get a good glimpse at both come April 13.

Sunday will close out the extra with Vancouver FC hosting the lone CPL match of the day, with visiting Valour set to visit Langley at 7:00PM EST. The Eagles found their second win at the end of last season’s campaign, leapfrogging over Valour to finish second-last. Both sides want to show they can crack playoffs for the first time, so this’ll be a nice litmus test to see where they stand.

Canadian Premier League 905 Derby
Photo Credit: John Jacques

The York United home opener will take place on Sunday, April 21 at 4:00PM EST. Things will heat up quickly with the first 905 Derby of the season, as rival side Forge is coming to town. How the matchday atmosphere and attendance will be remains a big question, with the club’s new ownership having lots to do in terms of improvement. Forge took both derby wins at York Lions Stadium last year, so a win would go a long way to kick off York United’s home vibes this season.

Halifax Wanderers will kick off their kitchen party on Saturday, April 27 at 1:00PM EST, hosting Atletico Ottawa at the vibrant Wanderers Grounds. Last season saw the two open their campaigns with a draw before Ottawa bested Halifax in the Canadian Championship days later, but with a home crowd behind them Patrice and the Wanderers will be keen to start off with a different fortune.

Cavalry will ride out to Spruce Meadows on Sunday, April 28 at 5:00PM EST against Pacific, which always proves to be a spicy affair. The two clubs last met in the playoff semi-finals, though Cavalry boasted a league-best home win record of 10-3-1 at ATCO Field last season, and will look to carry on that record into 2024.

Valour FC Trench

The last CPL Home Opener will come drastically later than the rest of the bunch: Valour’s IG Field is installing a brand new turf surface, delaying the club’s home opener festivities until Sunday, June 2 at 5:00PM EST. In a reverse of the season opener, it’ll be Vancouver FC visiting the Winnipeg-based side, both of whom will be in midseason form at that point.

“Our milestone fifth season in 2023 was our most competitive year yet, which sets the stage for an even more
exciting campaign in 2024,” added CPL EVP Costa Smyrniotis. “I expect this season to pick up exactly where we left off in 2023, with eight hungry sides all competing to be the best. That shared desire across the league leads to a high standard of play worthy of the passionate, growing fan bases we’re seeing from coast to coast.”

The season start date of April 13 falls largely in line with what we’ve seen over the last two years, with last season kicking off one day later and 2022 launching a week earlier. With the full 2024 CPL season schedule set to launch on January 23, fans won’t have to wait much longer to tick off all the calendar dates they’ll be watching out for.

Following that, we expect to see the 2024 Canadian Championship dates unveiled, and it’s worth noting that Cavalry and Forge have booked themselves an early start through the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup, too.

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

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