Voyageurs Cup Starts for Canadian Clubs

Toronto takes a big step towards defending its title with win against Montreal
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, April 25, 2013

Made in Canada - coverage of the Canadian MLS, NASL & USL Clubs, CSL, PCSL, Canadian Championship & Canada National Teams

The Amway Canadian Championship or the Voyageurs Cup?

A lot of meaning can be taken from a name, as language can explain much about the motives and thoughts of the sender.

Calling the tournament the Amway Canadian Championship respects the corporate partner of the Canadian Soccer Association, something that shouldn’t be scoffed at as Canadian soccer’s infrastructure and facilities will expand as corporate support increases.

However, there is also the need for respecting fans and the grassroots. This is especially the case, as the trophy, the Voyageurs Cup, was bought, paid for and handed out by Canadian soccer fans and only later on handed to the CSA to award to the winner of the Canadian Championship.

Both the sponsors and the fans should be respected for their commitment to Canadian soccer and as such I would urge people to use both names. The 'Amway Canadian Championship' should be used to refer to the tournament and 'Voyageurs Cup' to refer to the trophy. By doing so, the heritage of the trophy and the tournament is respected, while still giving due to a sponsor willing to invest in Canadian soccer.

Toronto FC entered this year’s tournament as the defending champion, and its game saw a remarkably large presence of Canadians on the field as Toronto played 5 domestic players and the Montreal Impact played 3. Both teams were missing regular starters, and in this game TFC manager Ryan Nelsen’s lineup tinkering beat out Marco Schällibaum’s.

Many things decide a game, but playing 5 Canadians in a Canadian Championship contest for their hometown team in the tournament that has been that team’s biggest source of success doesn’t seem like a bad gamble to me.

At the Commonwealth Stadium, FC Edmonton, which started 5 Canadians, welcomed the Vancouver Whitecaps, who continued their recent habit of playing Russell Teibert. While the Eddies were a bit too hospitable in the beginning of the game, allowing the Whitecaps to get an early lead, they showed that this is a tournament that they care about, as they fought back and led 2-1 for large parts of the game. However, amid a few controversial calls by the referee, the Whitecaps fought back and won the game 3-2.

Going into the second semi-finals next week, we are likely to see a repeat of last year's final with Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps squaring off again, and at this stage I’m going to make TFC the favourites. It is not a great team, but the Reds have shown grit and a strong passion about the tournament, while Vancouver hasn’t been performing consistently since last summer and didn’t have an impressive performance last night.

Henrik LONNE

Copenhagen Business School
Club Domestic:
AGF Aarhus
Club Foreign:
Toronto FC
Born and raised in Denmark, the US performance in the 2002 World Cup dragged Henrik into the world of North American soccer. Subsequent trips to Canada made him a Toronto FC fan from abroad. The passion he now has for MLS outshines most European leagues.