Canada Soccer (CSA) completed the Voyageur’s Cup draw and hammered out the qualification process for the CPL’s 2019 CONCACAF League yesterday. As with most things CSA and CONCACAF-related, most were left quite unhappy.

First, the good news. This past Monday, CONCACAF announced the expansion of the CONCACAF League, starting in 2019. Not only would the CONCACAF League be expanded to 22 teams, but the Canadian Premier League champion would have a team in the preliminary round. Six teams from the CONCACAF League will advance to the CONCACAF Champions League.

The catch: July 2019. So the question becomes how to choose the entrant.

The CPL schedule has yet to be announced, but each team should at least play each other once between league launch on April 27th and the end of May. With 10 weekends happening from April 27th through June 30th, there are plenty of opportunities for each team to meet each other at least once. Sounds like there’s a simple way to hammer this out. Six matches each, whichever team has the most points, or highest GD, gets the spot.


-What we imagine Canada Soccer replies whenever confronted with rational logic.

Instead, the CSA has decided that only 3 teams can compete, and it will be the results of their home-and-away regular season matches. The teams: FC Edmonton, Forge FC, and Valour FC.

Hidden in this a partial schedule announcement: each of these teams must meet each other twice during the first 10-weeks of play. Either that, or really bad wording has been used in this announcement…

The rationale? They were accepted into the CSA earlier.

If that sounds familiar, it’s the same reason these three clubs start in the 2nd round of the Canadian Championship. So, the three teams who have already been given an advantage, have been given a 2nd leg up.

Speaking of which, the Canadian Championship draw has been completed.

Opening round: Vaughan Azzurri meet HFX Wanderers, Cavalry meet Pacific, and AS Blainville meet York 9. In round 2: Valour meets the winner of Vaughan & Halifax, Forge meet winner of Cavalry & Pacific, and Edmonton meet winner of Blainville & York.

Things flow from there, with TFC potentially meeting Winnipeg, Halifax, Vaughan, or Ottawa when they enter in the semi-finals, giving them time to recover from a (hopefully) long-run in the 2019 Champions League.

I’m sure I’ve complained about this format before, so I won’t spend time on it here. Needless to say, I disagree with time-of-signed-papers determining when teams enter, and I disagree with giving a team byes all the way to the semi-finals. I also disagree with a Div 1 starting earlier than a Div 2, and probably a dozen other things.

Despite everything I may dislike about the setup the CSA chose, the Canadian Championship provides the most direct route to the CONCACAF Champions League.

Here is the 2019 path to the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League:

CPL Path to 2020 Champions League (full-size image)
error: Content is protected !!