Thursday, February 04, 2010

Nutrilite Canadian Championship Schedule

The schedule has been announced for the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship, the winner of which receives the Voyageurs Cup, as well as an entry into CONCACAF Champions League.

In case you can't be bothered to click through to read the article, here's the sked:

Date Home Away Location
2010-04-28 Toronto FC Impact Montreal BMO Field
2010-05-05 Vancouver Whitecaps Impact Montreal Swangard Stadium
2010-05-12 Impact Montreal Toronto FC Stade Saputo
2010-05-19 Vancouver Whitecaps Toronto FC Swangard Stadium
2010-05-26 Impact Montreal Vancouver Whitecaps Stade Saputo
2010-06-02 Toronto FC Vancouver Whitecaps BMO Field

While there is an argument to be made that the tournament would be better with a winner-take-all championship final, there is a lot to like about the way the schedule has been organized:
  • While the CSA is typically anything but consistent, they deserve credit for sticking to the precedent by which the defending champs (TFC this year; Montreal in 2009) host the last match
  • While TFC finds itself in a Champions League scheduling conflict, this tournament is in the clear. The matches are completed and a champion crowned before the Canadian soccer fan turns its attention to the World Cup. The ratings should profit from the increased attention paid to the sport in the run up to South Africa.
  • All 6 matches will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet. Last year, only 4 matches made it to air.
  • Holding the matches on 6 consecutive Wednesdays should help draw the casual fan.
I'm not so sure Montreal is thrilled about playing on the first two matchdays, both on the road, but we'll have to see how it all plays out.

It's interesting to see that there is no TFC match the day after Canada's May 25th friendly in Argentina. The likes of de Guzman and de Rosario could make the trip if TFC allows it, though a second South American friendly around the same time, currently only at the rumour stage, could make such a trip more difficult to accommodate.

What is for certain is that this blog will once again be holding a Voyageurs Cup pool. The format may be altered a touch, or not, but I hope this year's edition can match or exceed last year's, which featured 30 entries. Our defending champion is squizz, of some canadian guys. . ., and we hope he'll deign to re-enter the competition.

Contest details will be announced a few weeks before the first matchday.


Lord Bob said...

My god, as a Whitecaps fan, having to play the last two games on the road for all the marbles may just kill me.

J said...

That's an interesting quirk that I hadn't notice, and it could definitely present a challenge for Vancouver.

My own allegiances lie somewhere in between Vancouver and FC Anybody But Toronto, but I feel like Toronto's schedule in this competition is the kindliest. On the other hand, with the MLS taking most of June off, they'll have a congested May, and may not field a best team on all nights.

Lord Bob said...

In a short tournament like this, Toronto could easily be on six points, Montreal on six points, and Vancouver on zero. And we'd have two road games that could send us to the CONCACAF Champions League anyway.

I am pretty much hyperventilating thinking about this.

masster said...

You are incorrect about the 4 TFC games being shown by Sportsnet last year. Last year TFC v Impact at BMO was not on TV (remember the phantom offside call and there were no TV replays). Also, the Whitecaps v Impact at Swangard was on TV (Ethan Gage's first goal).

J said...

Thanks for the correction. For those interested, linked below is the play masster is referring to. It's not easy to judge from that angle, but for my money that's not offside.

Here is the video.