The CONCACAF Champions League is the premier continental club football competition in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean - similar to the UEFA Champions League in Europe. The Champions League winners qualify for the annual FIFA Club World Cup to crown the best club team in the world.
The team that wins the Canadian Championship, and hoists the Voyageurs Cup, qualifies for the following year’s Champions League tournament.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC have qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League twice, in the 2015-16 and the 2016-17 competitions.
During the transition year for the Canadian Championship tournament in 2014, it was determined that the Canadian MLS team that finished highest in the standings that year would qualify for the 2015-16 Champions League. The ‘Caps finished ahead of both Montreal Impact and Toronto FC in that 2014 season and thus qualified for their first ever Champions League the following year.
During the 2015-16 tournament, Vancouver were drawn into Group F with MLS rivals Seattle Sounders FC and Honduran champions C.D. Olimpia. A 1-1 draw against Seattle and 1-0 win over Olimpia saw the ‘Caps get off to a strong start at home, but two losses on the road meant a third place finish for the Blue and White. Seattle advanced to the quarterfinals as Group F winners.
After winning the Voyageurs Cup in 2015, Whitecaps FC returned to Champions League play for a second straight year in the 2016-17 tournament. Grouped with MLS rival Sporting Kansas City, and Trinidad and Tobago champion side Central FC, Whitecaps FC steamed through the competition, finishing the group stage with a perfect 4W-0L-0D record. As a result, Vancouver qualified for the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time, entering as the number one seed amongst top clubs from Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and the United States.
They faced New York Red Bulls in the Quarterfinal Round, drawing 1-1 in the first and away leg, then winning 2-0 at home for the 3-1 aggregate series win. The 'Caps then faced Liga MX giants Tigres UANL in the Semifinal Round, falling 4-1 on aggregate.