Voyageurs Cup schedule released.

Always a good time to use that photo.

Always a good time to use that photo.

So, it’s a big day for soccer in Toronto, are you all excited?

A plane is indeed arriving from Italy, as many of them do every day, TFC are trying to turn ‘Seba’s arrival into a big thing, I’m intrigued to see just how much of a crowd their prompting will induce, obviously him signing was a big deal, him arriving early is a big deal, but him stepping off the airplane? meh. Anyway, that’s not what i’m talking about here.

More importantly, we got the details of the schedule for this year’s Voyageurs Cup. Of course a lot of it was already known, ie Ottawa and Edmonton fighting for the right to play top seeded Vancouver and presumably somehow get screwed over, to allow Vancouver to advance to the final where they will of course lose in some hilarious new fashion to the winner of the Montreal vs Toronto semi final. These hallowed Canadian traditions matter damnit!

But we did get the exact dates today, here they are:

22 April 2015
Preliminary round – first leg
Ottawa Fury FC v FC Edmonton

29 April 2015
Preliminary round – second leg
FC Edmonton v Ottawa Fury FC

6 May 2015
Semi Final 1 – first leg
Ottawa Fury FC/FC Edmonton v Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Semi Final 2 – first leg
Montreal Impact v Toronto FC

13 May 2015
Semi Final 1 – second leg
Vancouver Whitecaps FC v Ottawa Fury FC/FC Edmonton

Semi Final 2 – second leg
Toronto FC v Montreal Impact

12 August 2015
Final – first leg

26 August 2015
Final – second leg

So then, it starts off with a fairly compact schedule, Ottawa and Edmonton figuring things out at the end of April, then on to the semi finals in early May, 4 straight Wednesdays of hot Canadian Soccer action. TFC in Montreal on May 6th, then the second leg in Toronto on May 13th, nicely sandwiching the first home game of the season.  If the last few years are any indication, this won’t be all that well attended, so the new 30,000 capacity stadium will seem particularly empty for this one.

Win and there’s then a crazy long wait for the final, time for the women’s world cup, pan am games, gold cup all that sort of thing to come and go.  The first leg is August 12th, with the 2nd leg August 26th. If it’s against Vancouver, the first leg would be in Toronto, if against either of the NASL teams, the return leg would be at BMO Field.  There’s already 6 league games during August, if TFC qualify that’s gonna be a busy busy month.

It’ll be interesting to see how Greg Vanney and co approach this, whether there’ll be a strong first team or instead a good chance to give some of the depth players some minutes.  More than likely it’ll be similar to last year, an A-/B+ side, but I’d say there’s an outside chance they’ll properly go for it.

There’s got to be a lot of pressure to succeed this year, beating Montreal to get to the final would give some much needed breathing room (Hi folks, Aron Winter here, I say ha! to that assertion) if that long road trip doesn’t go all that well. Yes, a couple of extra games in August wouldn’t help, but unlike previous years, winning the cup wouldn’t lead to extra CCL commitments this season, so why the hell not chase the glory this year knowing it won’t interfere with your bigger glory chasing of that mythical land known as the playoffs.

That can be next year’s problem, and by next year there’s 2 options. Either you’ll already be a successful, universally adored hero, secure in your job so if those extra games get in the way, no harm done to your employment prospects (and hey, if you know you’ve got those 4 games, you can always tank next year’s V-Cup semi final to take the pressure off a bit, right?), or, this being TFC, you (and this being TFC quite possibly your successor too) will have been fired already.

Seriously, there’s practically zero consequences to winning this thing. Go bring that cup home Uncle Greg!

Anyway, full details here, as always Vancouver will lose.


Author: Duncan Fletcher

Blogging journeyman formerly of Cruel Geography and Waking the Red, also briefly with Sportsnet and every now and then with the Guardian. As a supporter of Darlington, TFC, England and Canada, football's been unfair and poking fun at Duncan for decades now, so it's only fair he does the same right back at it. Follow him on twitter @duncandfletcher

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1 Comment

  1. One day we will face Joe Public. One day.

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