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Amway Canadian Championship, soon with more teams from … Canada!

May 1, 2013, 11:50 AM EDT

canadian_championship

While the soccer nerds among us love the U.S. Open Cup for all its charm, history and potential for big upsets, the proceedings can sometimes miss a smidge of competitive bite. Major League Soccer teams, stars of the show, sometimes talk a big game when it comes to regard for this grand old tourney – but don’t always deliver when it comes to roster selection.

Now, if we talk about Canada … those teams really, really do care about their national championship. In addition to national pride, the winner gains Canada’s spot in CONCACAF Champions League.

Perhaps the comparison to U.S. Open Cup is a bit apples-to-oranges, but the point is the same: Canada’s four professional clubs are quite passionate about the brief Amway Canadian Championship competition, which annually crowns the best from our northern neighbors.

Montreal hosts Toronto in Wednesday’s second leg of their semifinal series; Ryan Nelsen’s visitors carry a 2-0 lead into tonight’s match at Stade Saputo.

In the other second leg contest, Vancouver host Edmonton at BC Place. Martin Rennie’s Whitecaps are in a strong position, holding a 3-2 lead after last week’s first leg at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

Word is emerging now on how year’s Canadian Championship will operate when a fifth side joins the tournament; A team from Ottawa is set join the NASL, the second tier of professional soccer in our parts, in 2014.

Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani told MLSSoccer.com that Edmonton and Ottawa will probably meet in a play-in series in 2014, with the winner advancing into the semifinals alongside the three MLS clubs (Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto).

  1. wesbadia - May 1, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    The CSA is failing to take advantage of a prime opportunity to expand the ACC to a fully open tournament akin to the USOC for 2014. For too long has the ACC only considered the two top leagues when it crowns its domestic champion. Not since the mid 2000′s have they had anyone outside of the three professional teams in the tournament (back when the Toronto Lynx were regularly favorites).

    Pair this lack of initiative with the comments from Montagliani & Co regarding their stance on Canadian teams in the USL, and you end up with a very narrow-minded view of Canadian soccer. Extend this policy and practice into the national team system, and Canadian soccer is set up to be doomed for generations to come, regardless of how many young talents they’re currently fostering.

    Take the initiative, Montagliani. Make the ACC the Canadian Open Cup and include all tiers of soccer in the country.

    • Steve Davis - May 1, 2013 at 2:18 PM

      It’s a fair point. Amateur teams (and lower tier USL clubs) DO add punch to the U.S. Open Cup.

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