Canada Soccer has announced the format and schedule for the 2021 Canadian Championship. The competition will feature thirteen participating teams in a single knock-out competition culminating in a Final match in October 2021. The competition will feature the three Canadian-based Major League Soccer teams, all Canadian Premier League clubs, and the 2019 champions from League1 Ontario (L1O) and Premiere Ligue de Soccer du Quebec (PLSQ). All Canadian Championship matches will be broadcast LIVE on OneSoccer.
“We are excited to see the return of the Canadian Championship in 2021 with an updated brand identity and the return of the 13-team format that makes the competition truly and uniquely Canadian,” said Dr. Nick Bontis, Canada Soccer president. “As we turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to returning to stadiums filled with fans cheering their clubs on in pursuit of a chance to play in the Concacaf Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup competitions.
The competition will kick off August 15 when FC Edmonton host Cavalry FC in the first of five Preliminary Round matches in August. Three teams will receive a bye to the Quarterfinal Round with the 2019 Canadian Championship winners CF Montreal, and 2020 Canadian Championship Finalists Toronto FC and Forge FC entering the competition in the quarterfinal that will take place between September 14 to 22. The Semifinal Round kicks off September 28. All rounds after the Preliminary Round will be scheduled pending league schedule confirmation and public health guidelines.
As part of the schedule announcement, Canada Soccer launched a new brand identity for the 14-year-old competition, influenced by the core principles of celebrating the best of Canadian soccer and building on the vibrant heritage of the competition. With the emblematic Voyageurs Cup at the heart of the design and dynamic maple leaf visual, the refreshed brand symbolizes the sport of soccer’s ability to unite and connect our country from coast to coast. As part of the new brand launch, customized club marks have been introduced featuring each participating club’s primary colour to reference and reinforce the unique regional characteristics that combine to make the competition a national celebration of our sport.
“The Canadian Championship is truly reflective of the close collaboration between each of the participating member clubs, the Voyageurs Canadian supporters group, and Canada Soccer and the new brand aligns this collaborative effort under a re-developed brand look and supporting club patch,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer’s general secretary. “We’re proud of the growth of our domestic championship and look forward to continuing that growth in future iterations under this new brand.”
The Canadian Championship is the highest domestic club competition and leads to a direct entry into the 2022 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League with an opportunity to play in the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup. The current champions are CF Montreal who won the 2019 Canadian Championship. Fans can follow the Canadian Championship across Canada Soccer’s social media channels by following #CanChamp.
2021 Canadian Championship Schedule (home team listed first – subject to change)
Preliminary Round (August 15-26 2021)
Match 1: Sunday, Aug. 15 - FC Edmonton v Cavalry FC
Match 2: Thursday, Aug. 26 - Pacific FC v Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Match 3: Saturday, Aug. 21 - York United FC v Masters Futbol Academy
Match 4: Tuesday, Aug. 17 - HFX Wanderers v AS Blainville
Match 5: Saturday, Aug. 21 - Atletico Ottawa v Valour FC
Quarterfinal Round (September 14-22 2021)
Match 6: Date TBD Toronto FC v Winner Match 3
Match 7: Date TBD Winner Match 1 v Winner Match 2
Match 8: Date TBD Forge FC v Winner Match 4
Match 9 Date TBD CF Montreal v Winner Match 5
Semifinal Round (September 28-29 2021)
Match 10: Date TBD Winner Match 6 v Winner Match 7
Match 11: Date TBD Winner Match 8 v Winner Match 9
2021 Canadian Championship Final (October 19-27 2021)
Match 12: Date TBD Winner Match 10 v Winner Match 11