Canada Soccer has confirmed the format and participants for the 2023 Canadian Championship Official Draw which is scheduled for Tuesday 31 January. The Official Draw will determine the schedule of matches including host teams across four separate rounds of competition from April through June 2023.
The Official Draw will be broadcast live on OneSoccer at 20.00 ET / 17.00 PT, with extended coverage for the Canadian Championship published across Canada Soccer’s digital channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube featuring the hashtag #CanChamp.
Draw assistants for the televised event are Canadian Championship winners and past National Team players Terry Dunfield and Tosaint Ricketts. Dunfield was the alternate captain with Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2011 and then lifted the Voyageurs Cup with Toronto FC in 2012. Ricketts, meanwhile, was a back-to-back winner with Toronto FC in 2017 and 2018 before he lifted the most recent Voyageurs Cup with Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2022.
The 14 Canadian clubs will be drawn from three different pots with knock-out matches to be played across the First Round (12 clubs), the Quarter-Finals (eight clubs), the Semi-Finals (four clubs), and the Final (two clubs).
Western Clubs (5) : Vancouver Island’s Pacific FC, Richmond’s TSS Rovers FC, Vancouver FC, Calgary’s Cavalry FC, Winnipeg’s Valour FC
Eastern Clubs (5) : Forge FC Hamilton, York United FC, Atlético Ottawa, CF Montréal, Halifax Wanderers FC
East Semi-Pro Clubs (2) : Vaughan SC Azzurri, FC Laval
2022 Finalists (2) : Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Toronto FC
On 31 January, Canada Soccer will conduct the draws for the First Round. The 14 participating clubs will be distributed into two pots according to East and West regions, which will begin play.
Preliminary Round Pots
Pot 1: East Region clubs
Pot 2: West Region clubs
The draw will begin by finalizing the pots - an Eastern Club will be drawn into the Western Club pot. With 6 teams in East Pot (Eastern Clubs + East Semi-Pro Clubs) and 6 teams in the West Pot, Clubs will then be drawn into their positions in the Preliminary Round, determining matchups and Host Clubs. The following round will see the introduction of the 2022 finalists. Beyond the Preliminary Round, the Home and Away positions will be drawn through to the end of the competition.
Competition format and schedule
Across the four rounds of the 2023 Canadian Championship, the First Round will be scheduled from 18-20 April, the Quarter-Finals will be scheduled from 9-11 May, the Semi-Finals will be scheduled from 23-25 May, and the Final will be scheduled in June.
Canada Soccer will announce the full schedule, including kickoff times and venues for the preliminary round after the Official Draw.
About Canadian Championship
Canada Soccer’s Canadian Championship, also known as the Battle of the North, is the nation’s highest men’s domestic competition featuring clubs from coast to coast across the country, notably professional teams in Major League Soccer and the Canadian Premier League as well as league winners in League1 BC, League1 Ontario and Québec’s Premier League (Première ligue de soccer du Québec). Winners of the 2023 Canadian Championship lift the Voyageurs Cup and qualify to the annual international competition, Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. Winners of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup.