Amway Canadian Championship provides VWFC the opportunity to represent Canada

Canadian pride up for grabs

Ups and downs. Excitement. Heartbreak. Entertainment. Frustration. These have been the defining terms for Whitecaps FC's performances in the Amway Canadian Championship. This year, the 'Caps will look to seal their spot as Canadian champions for the first time ever. As with all Canadian professional soccer clubs, participating in the Amway Canadian Championship (ACC) is an incredibly prideful experience in the beautiful game. For a few weeks each year, clubs are able to set aside their league goals and set their eyes towards becoming the champions of the entire country, an opportunity only four clubs have.

The annual competition, which determines Canada’s entry into the CONCACAF Champions League, is a battle between Whitecaps FC, Toronto FC, Montreal Impact, and FC Edmonton. TFC have been the perennial champions of the tournament, capturing the last four titles from 2008-2012. However, it is a new year and Whitecaps FC have another shot at glory, as Martin Rennie’s side are heading into this year’s tournament as the top-ranked seed.

The tournament has a fairly simple structure, with two legs existing in its current format. The first leg of the tournament consists of a two-match home-and-away semi-final series, which will see the ‘Caps face FC Edmonton and Toronto FC face Montreal Impact. The winners of each semi-final will then face each other in another two-match home-and-away leg for the Voyageurs Cup and a berth into the CONCACAF Champions League. From there, the Canadian champions have a shot to not only become champions of the CONCACAF region, but of the entire world if they are able to advance to the FIFA Club World Cup.

Interestingly enough, the CONCACAF Champion's League is not the only tournament to feature regional qualification. The Tim Horton’s Brier and Canadian Little League World Series also reward the Canadian champion with a berth into their respective international tournaments, the World Curling Championship and the Little League World Series. The same can be said for the aforementioned FIFA Club World Cup, which has clubs from each FIFA confederation competing to become the best professional football club in the world. What could be better than world soccer supremacy? For clubs around the globe, nothing.

On Wednesday, the 'Caps begin their quest to become world soccer champions. Although it is an incredibly difficult path, it begins with one win. Defeating FC Edmonton is the first in a number of steps, so cheer on your 'Caps to victory and help them on their way to Canadian soccer supremacy.