TORONTO — The revamped Canadian soccer championship will kick off June 6 with the champion teams from Quebec’s PLSQ and League 1 Ontario taking part.
Semi-pro sides AS Blainville and the Oakville Blue Devils join the USL’s Ottawa Fury FC and Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps in the knockout competition that runs through Aug. 8.
The Canadian Championship winner hoists the Voyaegurs Cup and earns a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League. The winner of that tournament joins the field for the FIFA Club World Cup.
FC Edmonton of the NASL has folded since last year’s Canadian tournament.
The tournament is slated to expand in 2019 with the debut of the Canadian Premier League. CPL officials expect their champion to join the quest for the Voyageurs Cup.
The winner of the Blainville-Oakville tie will face Ottawa in a second qualifying round in late June to determine who advances to face reigning champion Toronto in semifinal action in July.
Montreal plays Vancouver Whitecaps in the other semifinal.
2018 Canadian Championship Schedule (home team listed first)
First Qualifying Round
AS Blainville vs. Oakville Blue Devils
Oakville Blue Devils vs. AS Blainville
Second Qualifying Round
Blainville-Oakville winner vs. Ottawa Fury FC
Ottawa Fury FC vs. Winner Blainville-Oakville winner
Qualifying round winner vs. Toronto FC
Montreal Impact vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Toronto FC vs. Qualifying round winner
Vancouver Whitecaps v Montreal Impact