Toronto FC Secures Spot In Voyageurs Cup Final
With the Montreal Impact losing to the Vancouver Whitecaps tonight, Major League Soccer side Toronto FC has secured its berth in the 2020 Canadian Championship final.
Last year saw a Montreal Impact side led by Wilmer Cabrera hoist the Voyageurs Cup at BMO Field, snapping a three year winning streak by Toronto FC. Now, the reds – who have won the tournament seven times – will have an opportunity to bring the cup back to their training centre at Downsview Park.
The single-stage tournament was originally slated to include all three MLS teams, seven CPL clubs, and one team from both League1 Ontario and the PLSQ, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Canada Soccer Association to reformat the tournament into a one-off single tie event that skipped over the non-professional entrants and added Atletico Ottawa into the qualification process.
There were two methods of qualifying that were separate for both MLS and CPL competitors: The three Canadian MLS sides needed to qualify by their head-to-head standings from the first phase of Major League Soccer’s regular season, which has seen Toronto FC, Montreal Impact, and the Vancouver Whitecaps all compete exclusively against eachother. Today’s results means that Toronto FC finished as the top Canadian MLS side from this stage, which earns the reds a pass straight to the Canadian Championship final.
Over in Charlottetown, the Canadian Premier League‘s bubble tournament will see the domestic league’s eventual winner qualify to face Toronto FC in the Voyageurs Cup Final. The CPL Final will take place this Saturday, with reigning champions Forge FC poised to take on a much-transformed Halifax Wanderers side for the crown.
Toronto FC never faced any CPL competition in 2019, though team captain Michael Bradley revealed that the club had hoped for an away trip to Wanderers Grounds. With an in-form Halifax Wanderers side just one match away from securing its own berth in the CPL Final, that’s a matchup that just may be on the cards – though it’s not known where or when the Voyageurs Cup Final will take place.
Toronto FC’s ticket to the Canadian Championship appeared in high jeopardy just a few days ago when the Montreal Impact routed the Whitecaps 4-2 in a match which saw two red cards. Tonight, any win for Montreal would have seem them through to the Voyageurs Cup, but the Whitecaps played spoilers and took the match with three goals to one after Rudy Camacho saw red in the first half.
The 2021 Canadian Championship is expected to take a more routine shape featuring several rounds of knockout action with some thirteen domestic teams in all. Since neither of the tournament’s original non-professional entrants (League1 Ontario’s Master’s Futbol Academy and PLSQ side AS Blainville) were able to take to the pitch this year, the sides will participate in the 2021 Canadian Championship instead. The succeeding year’s competition will also mark the first time that expansion side Atletico Ottawa will get to play in the domestic cup tournament, too.
Whatever happens, history will be made in the 2020 Canadian Championship: MLS side Toronto FC will face Canadian Premier League competition for the first time, with the winner also qualifying for the Concacaf Champions League, too.
Header Image Photo Credit: Canada Soccer / Paul Giamou