Vancouver joins action - The Province

Marc Weber

Three Canadian teams in club qualifier

Here's the lowdown on soccer's new Nutrilite Canadian Championship.

What: A series between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact of the United Soccer Leagues' First Division and Toronto FC of Major League Soccer.

Why: To determine which Canadian soccer club will qualify for the 2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League.

Format:
- Teams in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship will play each other home and away to determine who moves on. The first tiebreaker is goal differential.

- The Canadian champion will advance to the 16-team Champions League preliminary stage, where they will face the Nicaraguan league winners in a home-and-away series in late August and early September.

- The preliminary stage winners will join eight seeded teams in the group stage (four groups of four, six-match round robin through October).

- The knockout stage runs from February to April with the eventual CONCACAF Champions League winner qualifying for the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup.

CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

May 27 -- Toronto FC 1 Montreal Impact 0

June 17 -- Vancouver Whitecaps at Montreal, 4 p.m.

June 25 -- Montreal at Vancouver, 8 p.m., CBC "bold" TV (Country Canada)

July 1 -- Vancouver at Toronto, noon, CBC

July 9 -- Toronto at Vancouver, 7 p.m.

July 22 -- Montreal at Toronto, 4 p.m., CBC bold

© The Vancouver Province 2008