Voyageurs Cup expanding, adding minimum CanCon

The Voyageurs Cup began as an idea amongst Canadian soccer supporters.

Now, in the next two years, the competition will take two mores step forward in its maturation process.

The Canada Soccer Association announced Thursday that there will be a record seven teams vying for the Voyageurs Cup in 2018 as the Canadian Championship expands to include the champions of League1 Ontario and Première Ligue de soccer du Québec.

The 2017 championship will feature Canada’s three Major League Soccer teams: Montréal Impact FC, Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, plus FC Edmonton from the North American Soccer League and the Ottawa Fury FC representing the United Soccer League.

The five teams remain in the competition for the fourth year in a row despite the fact that the Fury are now the Impact’s affiliate for the 2017 season.

The 2017 edition will also see the introduction of a new Canadian content rule. Three Canadians must be in each team’s starting 11 in Voyageurs Cup matches.

The CSA has specified that the three minimum domestic starters must be “a Canadian citizen and/or hold a Canadian passport and, not played for, or represented, by virtue of dual citizenship or parental lineage, any other member association national soccer team, at any level, unless a change of association, in accordance with FIFA statutes, to Canada Soccer has been granted.”

Ottawa and Edmonton will kickoff this year’s tournament with a two-legged tie on May 3. The winner will advance to meet Toronto FC in a semifinal, while Montreal and Vancouver will contend the other semifinal.

The Voyageurs Cup was conceived and paid for by Canadian soccer supporters. It was first awarded in 2002 based on the results of the home-and-away regular season fixtures involving the four Canadian teams in the A-League.

In 2008, stand alone cup ties were introduced for the first time as it evolved into a proper cup competition as the CSA formalized the Canadian Championship.

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