Photo courtesy Ottawa Fury FC
OTTAWA – The 10th edition of the Canadian Championship will open at TD Place on May 3 when Ottawa Fury FC and FC Edmonton renew their rivalry in the qualifying round – the first match in a two-legged home-and-home series. The return leg is set for May 10 in Edmonton with the winner advancing to face Toronto FC in the semifinal stage. Canada Soccer unveiled the complete Canadian Championship schedule on Thursday.
"We're excited to once again represent Canada's capital in the Battle of the North," said Fury FC GM and Head Coach Paul Dalglish. "Last season we achieved something very special for this club and with the squad that we have this season, I'm confident that we can compete with every club and contend for that Canadian Championship."
The two-match qualifying round sets the Battle of the North in motion, which sets itself apart from all North American professional sports leagues that operate on both sides of the border as the only one to hold an all-Canada competition that leads to the international stage.
The semifinal stage of the Canadian Championship will begin May 23 as the winner of Ottawa/Edmonton will host Toronto FC with the return leg in Toronto set for May 30. The other semifinal will feature the Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The two winners will face off in the two-legged final beginning on June 21/22 and ending on June 27, where the winner will be crowned 2017 Canadian Champion and have the privilege of raising the Voyageurs Cup.
New to this year's edition, Canada Soccer has added a Canadian Content rule ensuring that at least three Canadians are included in every starting lineup throughout the competition.
2017 Qualifying Round
May 3 – Ottawa Fury FC vs. FC Edmonton, TD Place
May 10 – FC Edmonton vs. Ottawa Fury FC, Clarke Field
2017 Semifinal Rounds
May 23 – Ottawa/Edmonton vs. Toronto FC
May 23 – Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Impact Montréal FC
May 30 – Impact Montréal FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
May 31 – Toronto FC vs. Ottawa/Edmonton
2017 Championship Final
June 20/21 – First leg between Semifinal winners
- Should Montreal make the Final this match will be played on June 21
June 27 – Second leg between Semifinal winners
The 2017 Canadian Championship features five clubs across three rounds and serves as a route to the CONCACAF Champions League, the path by which Canadian teams have a chance to play the best clubs in the world at the FIFA Club World Cup, such as reigning champions CF Real Madrid. In line with the launch of the new CONCACAF Champions League format which places the Canadian representative in Phase II beginning in March 2018, a special one-match Canadian playoff between last year's winners Toronto FC (unless Toronto FC repeats as Canadian winners) and the 2017 winners will be played on 9 August in Toronto to determine who will advance.