|Number of teams||5 (7 from 2018)|
|Current champions||Toronto FC (6th title)|
|Toronto FC (6 titles)|
|Television broadcasters||The Sports Network
Réseau des sports
|2017 Canadian Championship|
The Canadian Championship (French: Championnat canadien) is an annual soccer tournament contested by premier Canadian professional teams. The winner is awarded the Voyageurs Cup and Canada's berth in the CONCACAF Champions League. It is currently contested by MLS sides Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and Montreal Impact, NASL side FC Edmonton, and USL side Ottawa Fury FC. Starting in 2018, the champions of League1 Ontario and the Première Ligue de soccer du Québec will join the competition. The tournament has been sponsored by Amway Canada in the past and is organized by the Canadian Soccer Association.
The Canadian Championship is a club soccer competition organized by the Canadian Soccer Association. The championship determines Canada's entry in the annual CONCACAF Champions League. Fully professional Canadian soccer teams play in United States based leagues. Prior to the creation of the official competition in 2008, there was no domestic competition to determine the best Canadian professional team (as Canada Soccer's Challenge Trophy only crowned the best amateur team). An unofficial Canadian Champion determined in the same manner as 2008-2010, a home-and-away series with the games taken from USL First Division (USL-1) regular season league games, was awarded by the Canadian national teams' supporters group, The Voyageurs. This unofficial Canadian Championship became less legitimate when Toronto was awarded a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise to start play in 2007 in the USSF Division 1 MLS league above the USSF Division 2 USL-1 league. Toronto's USL-1 team self relegated, while the other two Canadian professional soccer teams did not play meaningful games against the new MLS team in 2007.
For the 2008-2009 season, CONCACAF changed their eight team FIFA Club World Cup qualification tournament from a two leg aggregate goals knockout elimination format, named the CONCACAF Champions Cup, to a format mirroring the UEFA Champions League with a play-in round, a group stage, and lastly a two-leg aggregate score knockout format for the final rounds. The format change for the 2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League provided the opportunity to expand the number of qualifying teams from different countries, and Canada was awarded a single entry in the play-in round preceding the group stage. The year 2008 was the first time a Canadian entry had been awarded by CONCACAF since 1992, and the first time a Canadian team participated since 1976. To award the new Canadian entry, the CSA created a new competition consisting of a home-and-away round-robin series between the three fully professional Canadian teams: Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps. As the Canadian champions, Montreal qualified for CONCACAF Champions League 2008-09.
The 2008 edition was contested between May 2008 and July 2008 and won by the Montreal Impact. The 2009 edition's format and participants were the same, contested by the three clubs in May and June 2009. It was closely contended by Toronto and Vancouver and won by the former via goal differential in the tournament's final game against the defending champions, Montreal, giving the Toronto franchise its first ever trophy and a spot in the qualifying round of the CONCACAF Champions League 2009-10. Toronto repeated as champions in the 2010 competition, qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League 2010-11. Toronto won it for the fourth consecutive season in the 2012 competition.
In 2011 with the start of a fourth fully professional Canadian soccer team, FC Edmonton, the competition was changed from the home-and-away round robin series to a double-leg aggregate score knockout cup format with the two MLS teams seeded first and second, and NASL teams seeded third and fourth based on league standings of the previous year and the USSF tiering of Division 1 and Division 2. This format mitigated competitive concerns regarding already eliminated teams and the number of additional (extra to their regular league) games each team would be required to play during a season.
On June 6, 2016 Canadian Soccer Association general secretary Peter Montopoli told TSN that plans were well under way to expand the tournament to include an access point for any team in Canada. He said that he expected the expansion to take place for 2017. His statement seemed to confirm other reports saying similar.[better source needed] On March 9, 2017 Canada Soccer Association announced that from the 2018 edition the winners of the League1 Ontario and Première Ligue de soccer du Québec would compete.
The winners of the Canadian Championship are awarded the Voyageurs Cup, a trophy previously awarded to the Canadian USL First Division side with the best regular season record against other Canadian USL-1 teams. Prior to 2008 there was no domestic cup competition open to top tier Canadian professional clubs only to amateur clubs. The Voyageurs developed a method of tracking league results between Canadian clubs to determine a professional Canadian champion. The USL was the highest level of Canadian soccer until in 2007 Toronto FC bought the first Canadian franchise in the US-based Division 1 league, Major League Soccer.
The Voyageurs, a supporters' group, donated the cup to the Canadian Soccer Association to award to the winners of the Canadian Championship. The Voyageurs Cup was supervised by the Voyageurs from 2002-2007. The trophy is still awarded by a Voyageurs member to the current winning club.
Prior to 2010, the tournament consisted of the top three professional teams in Canada in a home-and-away series with the top team winning entry into the qualifying stage of the CONCACAF Champions League. These teams were the only Canadian teams in the two top US-based professional soccer leagues, which for 2010 were Major League Soccer and the temporary USSF Division 2 Professional League. In 2011, the North American Soccer League received sanctioning as the USSF's new second-division league.
When FC Edmonton joined the NASL in 2011, the tournament was expanded to include the four most important professional clubs in the country. The tournament now consists of two two-legged semifinals and a two-legged final. In the first semifinal of 2011, Toronto, as reigning champions, was assigned the first-place seed and played Edmonton, which was assigned the fourth seed as newcomers to the tournament. The two remaining teams, Montreal and Vancouver, faced off in the other semifinal. This was to be followed by a one-game final to be hosted by the highest remaining seed; but the Canadian Soccer Association decided to go with a two-legged final instead. The format was repeated in subsequent years with the previous year's league placement being used to seed the teams.
Starting with the 2014 competition, due to the introduction of the Ottawa Fury FC to the NASL, the two Canadian NASL teams play in a play-off quarter final to see which team makes it to the semi-finals, in which the MLS teams will be introduced.
Due to scheduling conflicts with the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, the 2015 edition was held during April, May, and August but did not provide a competitor for the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League; instead the best-placed Canadian Major League Soccer team in the 2014 regular season was the country's representative. The Whitecaps qualified for the championship on October 19, 2014. The winner of the 2015 Canadian Championship qualified for the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League instead and starting in 2016, the competition will be held in June and July.
|Team||City||Professional league||Year joined|
|FC Edmonton||Edmonton, Alberta||North American Soccer League||2011|
|Montreal Impact||Montreal, Quebec||Major League Soccer||2012|
|Ottawa Fury FC||Ottawa, Ontario||United Soccer League||2014|
|Toronto FC||Toronto, Ontario||Major League Soccer||2008|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Vancouver, British Columbia||Major League Soccer||2011|
|AS Blainville||Blainville, Quebec||Première Ligue de soccer du Québec||2018|
|Oakville Blue Devils||Oakville, Ontario||League1 Ontario||2018|
|Montreal Impact||Montreal, Quebec||North American Soccer League||2008-2011|
|Vancouver Whitecaps||Vancouver, British Columbia||USL First Division, USSF Division 2||2008-2010|
|2008||Montreal Impact||Toronto FC||3||Home and Away League|
|2009||Toronto FC||Vancouver Whitecaps|
|2010||Toronto FC||Vancouver Whitecaps|
|2011||Toronto FC||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||4||Two-legged knock-out|
|2012||Toronto FC||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|2013||Montreal Impact||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|2014||Montreal Impact||Toronto FC||5|
|2015||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Montreal Impact|
|2016||Toronto FC||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|2017||Toronto FC||Montreal Impact|
|1||Toronto FC||6||2||10||2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017|
|2||Montreal Impact||3||2||10||2008, 2013, 2014|
|3||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||1||6||10||2015|
|5||Ottawa Fury FC||-||-||4|
|2||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||34||14||11||9||44||34||+10||53|
|5||Ottawa Fury FC||12||5||1||6||14||21||-7||16|
|6||Oakville Blue Devils||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
The George Gross Memorial Trophy was created by the Canadian Soccer Association in 2008 to recognize each tournament's most valuable player. The Trophy is named after the late George Gross, a respected journalist and soccer lover.
|2008||Jordan , MattMatt Jordan||Goalkeeper||United States||Montreal Impact|
|2009||De Rosario, DwayneDwayne De Rosario||Midfielder||Canada||Toronto FC|
|2010||De Rosario, DwayneDwayne De Rosario||Midfielder||Canada||Toronto FC|
|2011||Plata, JoaoJoao Plata||Forward||Ecuador||Toronto FC|
|2012||Johnson, RyanRyan Johnson||Forward||Jamaica||Toronto FC|
|2013||Mapp, JustinJustin Mapp||Midfielder||United States||Montreal Impact|
|2014||Mapp, JustinJustin Mapp||Midfielder||United States||Montreal Impact|
|2015||Teibert, RussellRussell Teibert||Midfielder||Canada||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|2016||Cheyrou, BenoîtBenoît Cheyrou||Midfielder||France||Toronto FC|
|2017||Giovinco, SebastianSebastian Giovinco||Forward||Italy||Toronto FC|
|1||Russell Teibert||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Canada||19|
|2||Patrice Bernier||Montreal Impact||Canada||16|
|3||Jay Nolly||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||United States||15|
|4||Hassoun Camara||Montreal Impact||France||14|
|4||Jonathan Osorio||Toronto FC||Canada||14|
|5||Gershon Koffie||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Ghana||13|
|6||Julian De Guzman||Toronto FC, Ottawa Fury FC||Canada||12|
|Dwayne De Rosario||Toronto FC||Canada|
|Leonardo Di Lorenzo||Montreal Impact||Argentina|
|Daryl Fordyce||FC Edmonton||Northern Ireland|
|Doneil Henry||Toronto FC||Canada|
|Jordan Harvey||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||United States|
|Andrés Romero||Montreal Impact||Argentina|
|1||Tomi Ameobi||FC Edmonton||England||5|
|Sebastian Giovinco||Toronto FC||Italy|
|3||Camilo||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Brazil||4|
|Dwayne De Rosario||Toronto FC||Canada|
|Daryl Fordyce||FC Edmonton||Northern Ireland|
|Jack McInerney||Montreal Impact||United States|
|Pedro Morales||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Chile|
|8||Chad Barrett||Toronto FC||United States||3|
|Eric Hassli||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||France|
|Doneil Henry||Toronto FC||Canada|
|Nicolás Mezquida||Vancouver Whitecaps||Uruguay|
|Maicon Santos||Toronto FC||Brazil|
|Ansu Toure||Vancouver Whitecaps||Liberia|
Bolded players are still active players with a Canadian team.
In the case that two or more players score the same number of goals, Canada Soccer's first tie breaker is most assists while the second tie breaker is fewest minutes played.
|2008||Roberto Brown||Montreal Impact||Panama||2||2g, 0a, 157min|
|2009||Dwayne De Rosario||Toronto FC||Canada||3|
|2010||Dwayne De Rosario||Toronto FC||Canada||1||1g, 1a|
|2011||Maicon Santos||Toronto FC||Brazil||3|
|2012||Sébastien Le Toux||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||France||2||2g, 0a, 168min|
|2013||Camilo||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Brazil||3|
|2014||Jack McInerney||Montreal Impact||United States||3|
|2015||Tomi Ameobi||FC Edmonton||England||4|
|2016||Jordan Hamilton||Toronto FC||Canada||2||2g, 1a|
|2017||Sebastian Giovinco||Toronto FC||Italy||3|