Canada Soccer announces move to new timeframe for future Amway Canadian Championships

New summer timeframe starting in 2015

Voyageurs Cup 2013

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USA Today Sports Images

OTTAWA, ON – Canada Soccer announced today that its Amway Canadian Championship will move to a new summer timeframe starting in 2015. The change, approved by CONCACAF’s Executive Committee at their latest meeting, will require a transition over the next three editions of the competition which will impact the qualification format that determines the Canadian representative in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The 2014 Amway Canadian Championship will be played in its current format and timeframe, starting this April 23 in Ottawa, with the winner earning the rights to represent Canada in the 2014/2015 CONCACAF Champions League. This will be the seventh edition of the national competition that features the country’s five professional clubs.

The 2015 edition of the Amway Canadian Championship will shift timeframe to be played in July and August, after the completion of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 and respecting the CONCACAF Gold Cup dates. The champion of the 2015 Amway Canadian Championship will represent Canada in the 2016/2017 CONCACAF Champions League.

Given the revised timeframe for the 2015 Championship, the competition will not be played in time to designate the Canadian representative for the 2015/2016 CONCACAF Champions League. As such, it has been agreed with all participating clubs that the Canadian MLS club ranked highest in the league points table at the end of the 2014 regular MLS season would be appointed Canadian representative for the 2015/2016 CONCACAF Champions League.

“Canada Soccer recognizes that the transition may be confusing in the short term, but we’re confident it will benefit the competition in the longer term,” said Victor Montagliani, Canada Soccer President. “This new format will allow the Amway Canadian Championship to grow, becoming even more of a Canadian showcase of professional soccer as our sport continue to evolve.”

Starting in 2016 and for subsequent editions, the Amway Canadian Championship will resume its format and be played in the new, more club and fan friendly timeframe of June and July, with the winner representing Canada in the following season of the CONCACAF Champions League.

“The move to the new timeframe was proposed in response to some of our participating clubs concerns and allows for more flexibility in the competition structure around professionalization of the sport and potential expansion,” added Montagliani. “But more importantly, we believe it will make it a more enjoyable experience for fans across the country.”

Every year, the Amway Canadian Championship pits Canada’s professional clubs – newest member Ottawa Fury FC (NASL), FC Edmonton (NASL), Montreal Impact (MLS), Toronto FC (MLS) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS) – against each other in a knock-out home and away series to ultimately determine a champion that will lift the Voyageurs Cup and earn the right to represent the country in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Through the first six editions of the Amway Canadian Championship, Montreal Impact were inaugural champions (2008) followed by Toronto FC who won the Voyageurs Cup in four successive seasons (2009 to 2012), before Montreal Impact won the championship again in 2013. In CONCACAF Champions League, Montreal Impact (2008-09) reached the quarter-final phase while Toronto FC (2011-12) has participated in the semi-final round of continental club championship.

About the Amway Canadian Championship
This seventh edition of the Amway Canadian Championship features Canada's five professional clubs: Ottawa Fury FC (Canada’s newest NASL club), FC Edmonton (NASL), Montreal Impact (MLS), Toronto FC (MLS) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS). The two NASL clubs play a preliminary knock-out home and away round for a berth as the fourth semi-final place and join the three Canadian MLS clubs in the next round, also a home and away knock-out format. The final is also played on a home and away basis (two legs). The team that comes on top on aggregate for the two matches is declared champion and earns the right to represent Canada in the 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League.

For more information, visit the competition's official website at canadasoccer.com/championship. Follow the 2014 Amway Canadian Championship on Twitter by using #canChamp.

About Canada Soccer
Canada Soccer, in partnership with its membership and its partners, provides leadership in the pursuit of excellence in soccer, both at the national and international levels. Canada Soccer not only strives to lead Canada to victory, but also encourages Canadians to a life-long passion for soccer. For more details on Canada Soccer, visit the official website at canadasoccer.com