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2023 Canadian Championship

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2023 Canadian Championship
Championnat canadien 2023 (French)
Tournament details
DateApril 18 – June 7, 2023
Teams14 (from 5 leagues)
Final positions
ChampionsVancouver Whitecaps FC (3rd title)
Runner-upCF Montréal
Tournament statistics
Matches played13
Goals scored35 (2.69 per match)
Attendance79,875 (6,144 per match)
Top goal scorer(s)Sunusi Ibrahim
(3 goals)
George Gross
Memorial Trophy
Julian Gressel
Best young playerAli Ahmed
← 2022
2024 →

The 2023 Canadian Championship (French: Championnat canadien 2023) was the sixteenth edition of the Canadian Championship, the premier men's domestic cup competition in Canadian soccer, and the 22nd competition staged to determine the winner of the Voyageurs Cup. It was a knockout tournament with all eleven professional men's soccer teams in Canada, from Major League Soccer and the Canadian Premier League, competing, along with the champions of the three semi-professional League1 Canada competitions. The tournament marked the first Voyageurs Cup campaign for FC Laval, TSS FC Rovers and Vancouver FC.

This tournament was notable for the TSS FC Rovers' performance, as they made the quarter-finals in their debut appearance by upsetting Valour FC in the first round. In doing so, they became the first non-professional team in the history of the competition to advance past a fully professional opponent.



The winner of the 2022 Canadian Championship, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and runner-up Toronto FC, both received byes to the quarter-finals. The remaining 12 teams began the competition from the first round in April.[1] Qualification to the Canadian Championship for 2023 was automatic for Canadian teams within Major League Soccer and for all teams within the Canadian Premier League, Canada's tier-one national league. The 2022 champions from the three regional pro-am leagues of League1 Canada (League1 Ontario, PLSQ, and League1 British Columbia) also qualified.[2]

The 2023 Canadian Championship determined a place in the continental 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup tournament.[3][4] If the winner had already qualified for the Champions Cup via berths in the 2023 Major League Soccer, 2023 Leagues Cup or 2023 Canadian Premier League, the place would have gone to the runners-up in the final, and then to the "higher-ranked" semi-finalist based on league points totals,[5] if the runners-up had also already qualified.[4]

Matches in the 2023 tournament were each played as a single 90-minute match with additional time. If a match ended in a draw, no extra time was played, and the match went straight to a penalty shoot-out to decide the winner.[6] Each team competing in the tournament could select up to 30 players to their tournament roster. If a player already nominated to a team's tournament roster was transferred to a competing team during the tournament, they were disqualified from further play in the tournament.[6] For each match, teams could select up to 18 players for a match roster, while their starting lineup had to include at least three Canadian players. Both teams could make up to five substitutions and two concussion substitutions throughout the match at up to three stoppages of play, excluding half-time.[6]


2023 Canadian Championship is located in Canada
Vancouver teams: TSS Rovers Vancouver FC Vancouver Whitecaps
Montreal teams: CF Montréal FC Laval
2023 Canadian Championship (Canada)
Locations of teams competing in the 2023 Canadian Championship
League Team Location Entry round App. Previous best performance
Major League Soccer Toronto FC Toronto Quarter-finals as 2022 finalist 16th Winners (8 times; 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Vancouver 15th Winners (2 times; 2015, 2022)
CF Montréal Montreal Preliminary round 15th Winners (4 times; 2013, 2014, 2019, 2021)
Canadian Premier League Atlético Ottawa Ottawa 3rd Preliminary round (2 times; 2021, 2022)
Cavalry FC Foothills 4th Semi-finals (2019)
Forge FC Hamilton 5th Runners-up (2020)
HFX Wanderers FC Halifax 4th Quarter-finals (3 times; 2019, 2021, 2022)
Pacific FC Langford 4th Semi-finals (2021)
Valour FC Winnipeg 4th Quarter-finals (2021)
Vancouver FC Langley 1st
York United FC Toronto 4th Semi-finals (2022)
League1 Canada
(division champions)
FC Laval (PLSQ) Laval 1st
TSS FC Rovers (L1BC) Burnaby 1st
Vaughan Azzurri (L1O) Vaughan 2nd First qualifying round (2019)



On January 17, 2023, Canada Soccer announced that the draw for the championship would be held on January 31 at 8:00 pm ET. The draw details and pots were announced on January 24.[1] Due to the early start of the tournament, only 5 of 12 teams were able to host to host a match in the first round.[7] Teams were assigned into pots based on geography (east or west) and hosting ability.[7]

Prior to the commencement of the draw, one club from Pot B1 was moved into Pot A1, then one club from Pot B2 was moved to B1, and then both clubs from Pot C were moved to Pot B2, resulting in an even distribution of three teams in each of the first round pots.[8] Atlético Ottawa and the HFX Wanderers were placed in Pot B2 prior to the draw as the eastern teams that did not commit to hosting a match in the first round. The Wanderers were eventually drawn from Pot A1 as the designated home team for their first round match against Ottawa, and Canada Soccer determined a neutral venue for the match.[7]

Pot A1 Pot A2 Pot B1 Pot B2 Pot C Pot D

Final positions

West (home) West (away) East (home) East (away) Byes

†: Could not host a Preliminary Round match.


Round Match dates
Preliminary round April 18–20
Quarter-finals May 9–10
Semi-finals May 24
Final June 7


Langford, BC
Pacific FC (p)1 (5)
Langford, BC
Cavalry FC1 (3)
Pacific FC2
Burnaby, BC
TSS FC Rovers0
TSS FC Rovers3
Langford, BC
Valour FC1
Pacific FC0
Toronto (York Lions), ON
Vancouver Whitecaps FC3
York United FC1
Toronto (York Lions), ON
Vancouver FC0
York United FC1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC4
Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC2
CF Montréal1
Toronto (BMO), ON
Toronto FC1
Montreal, QC
CF Montréal2
CF Montréal2
Montreal, QC
Vaughan Azzurri0
CF Montréal2
Hamilton, ON
Forge FC0
Forge FC3
Hamilton, ON
FC Laval0
Forge FC (p)1 (3)
Toronto (York Lions), ON
Atlético Ottawa1 (2)
HFX Wanderers FC1
Atlético Ottawa3

Preliminary round



Team 1  Score  Team 2
TSS FC Rovers 3–1 Valour FC
Pacific FC 1–1 (5–3 p) Cavalry FC
York United FC 1–0 Vancouver FC
Forge FC 3–0 FC Laval
HFX Wanderers FC 1–3[a] Atlético Ottawa
CF Montréal 2–0 Vaughan Azzurri


TSS FC Rovers3–1Valour FC
  • Polisi 39', 62'
  • Mejia 42'
Attendance: 2,486
Referee: Robert D'Alesio

York United FC1–0Vancouver FC
Babouli 6' (pen.) Report
Attendance: 950
Referee: Michael Venne

Forge FC3–0FC Laval
Jensen 37', 55'
Pacius 57' (pen.)
Attendance: 2,117
Referee: Scott Bowman

HFX Wanderers FC1–3Atlético Ottawa
Ferrin 19' Report Shaw 40'
Espejo 44'
Tissot 85'
Attendance: 674
Referee: Myriam Marcotte

CF Montréal2–0Vaughan Azzurri
Rea 31'
Ibrahim 36'
Attendance: 11,069
Referee: Mathieu Souaré




Team 1  Score  Team 2
Pacific FC 2–0 TSS FC Rovers
York United FC 1–4 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Forge FC 1–1 (3–2 p)[b] Atlético Ottawa
Toronto FC 1–2 CF Montréal


Pacific FC2–0TSS FC Rovers
Attendance: 2,593
Referee: Myriam Marcotte

York United FC1–4Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Attendance: 1,827
Referee: Drew Fischer

Toronto FC1–2CF Montréal
Attendance: 17,726
Referee: Yusri Rudolf




Team 1  Score  Team 2
Pacific FC 0–3 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
CF Montréal 2–0 Forge FC



CF Montréal2–0Forge FC
Attendance: 10,062
Referee: Pierre-Luc Lauzière


Vancouver Whitecaps FC2–1CF Montréal
Attendance: 20,072
Referee: Filip Dujic

Top goalscorers

  Team eliminated or did not play in this round.
Rank Player Team Goals By round
1 Nigeria Sunusi Ibrahim CF Montréal 3 1 1 1
2 United States Simon Becher Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 1 1
United States Julian Gressel Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 1
Canada Noah Jensen Forge FC 2
Canada Matteo Polisi TSS FC Rovers 2
6 Canada Ali Ahmed Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 1
Syria Molham Babouli York United FC 1
Northern Ireland Ollie Bassett Atlético Ottawa 1
Canada Kyle Bekker Forge FC 1
New Zealand Myer Bevan Cavalry FC 1
Canada Zachary Brault-Guillard CF Montréal 1
Spain Diego Espejo Atlético Ottawa 1
Canada Massimo Ferrin HFX Wanderers FC 1
Scotland Ryan Gauld Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1
Wales Josh Heard Pacific FC 1
Italy Lorenzo Insigne Toronto FC 1
Canada Levonte Johnson Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1
Costa Rica Ariel Lassiter CF Montréal 1
Canada Ivan Mejia TSS FC Rovers 1
Canada Anthony Novak Valour FC 1
Nigeria Chinonso Offor CF Montréal 1
Canada Easton Ongaro Pacific FC 1
Canada Woobens Pacius Forge FC 1
Canada Sean Rea CF Montréal 1
Canada Adonijah Reid Pacific FC 1
Canada Austin Ricci York United FC 1
Trinidad and Tobago Malcolm Shaw Atlético Ottawa 1
Canada Maxim Tissot Atlético Ottawa 1
United States Brian White Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1

Own goals




Broadcasting rights

Country Broadcaster Ref.
Canada OneSoccer [14][15]
United States Fox Sports [15][16][17]


  1. ^ a b This match was played at York Lions Stadium (a neutral venue) due to both clubs being unable to host the match.[10]
  2. ^ a b Although Atlético Ottawa was drawn as the home team, this match was played at Tim Hortons Field due to Atlético opting out of hosting.[11][12]


  1. ^ a b "Canada Soccer prepares for biggest Canadian Championship ever starting in April". Canadian Soccer Association. January 17, 2023. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  2. ^ "Canadian Championship Welcomes League1 BC as New Entrant for 2023". Canadian Soccer Association. November 3, 2022. Retrieved November 3, 2022.
  3. ^ Becherano, Lizzy (June 3, 2022). "Concacaf reveals new format for Champions League starting in 2024". 90min. Archived from the original on June 3, 2022. Retrieved January 24, 2023. Canadian teams will only be assured three places, with the champions, regular-season winner and Canadian Championship winner slated for the competition.
  4. ^ a b Straus, Brian (June 1, 2022). "Concacaf Reveals Qualifying Criteria for Expanded Champions League". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on June 1, 2022. Retrieved January 24, 2023. The "higher-ranked" semifinalist, based on unspecified criteria, will earn the berth if the two finalists have qualified via MLS, the Leagues Cup or the Canadian Premier League.
  5. ^ "2024 Concacaf Champions Cup Regulations" (PDF). Concacaf. October 25, 2023. pp. 14–19. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c "14 things to know about the 2023 Canadian Championship". Canadian Soccer Association. January 28, 2023. Retrieved February 2, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c "Final draw procedures confirmed for the Canadian Championship Draw". Canadian Soccer Association. January 31, 2023. Retrieved February 5, 2023. From the 12 clubs in the Preliminary Round, five clubs have committed to hosting a Canadian Championship match at their home venue in April [...] The club drawn from Pot B2 into Pot B1 (either Ottawa or Halifax) will serve as a Home team at a neutral venue to be determined by Canada Soccer...
  8. ^ "Canada Soccer Announces Details for the 2023 Canadian Championship draw". Canadian Soccer Association. January 24, 2023. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  9. ^ "Canada Soccer conducts Official Draw for the 2023 Canadian Championship". Canadian Soccer Association. January 31, 2023. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  10. ^ O'Connor-Clarke, Charlie (April 18, 2023). "Preview: Halifax Wanderers vs. Atlético Ottawa — 2023 Canadian Championship". Canadian Premier League. Archived from the original on April 19, 2023. Retrieved September 6, 2023. With neither side able to host this first-round matchup, they'll be playing at a neutral site in York Lions Stadium.
  11. ^ "Atlético Ottawa advance to the Quarter-Finals after a 3:1 win over Halifax". Canada Soccer. April 19, 2023. Retrieved April 21, 2023. Atlético Ottawa will travel to Hamilton to face Forge FC in the 2023 Quarter-Finals in May.
  12. ^ Jacques, John (February 7, 2023). "Ottawa, Halifax To Play Cup Match In Toronto". Northern Tribune. Retrieved April 21, 2023. Atletico Ottawa has also released a club statement confirming that it made an administrative error in opting out as a host club for this year's iteration of the tournament when it only meant to opt out of the opening round.
  13. ^ a b "Gressel and Ahmed win awards at 2023 Canadian Championship". Canada Soccer. June 8, 2023. Retrieved June 8, 2023.
  14. ^ "Important information about your OneSoccer subscription in 2023 and beyond". OneSoccer. March 23, 2023. Retrieved April 28, 2023.
  15. ^ a b Nightingale, Tom (March 24, 2023). "Why a government ruling means OneSoccer could soon become a TV channel". Canadian Soccer Daily. Fresh Press Media. Retrieved April 28, 2023.
  16. ^ "Mediapro Canada renews with FOX Sports 2, bringing CPL, Canadian Championship to US viewers" (Press release). Mediapro Canada. May 16, 2022. Retrieved April 28, 2023.
  17. ^ Jacques, John (May 16, 2022). "Fox Sports Inks Multi-Year Canadian Premier League Broadcast Deal". Northern Tribune. Retrieved April 28, 2023.