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Toronto, Vancouver advance to final of Canadian championship

Gordon (Reuters Pictures)

The Canadian championship final will be an all-MLS affair.

Toronto FC made quick work of FC Edmonton while Vancouver needed extra time to put away the Montreal Impact in the final legs of their semifinal matchups Wednesday night.

Rookie Joao Plata set up Alan Gordon in the 21st minute for the lone goal in TFC's 1-0 victory over Edmonton. The Reds cruised to a 4-0 aggregate win over the NASL side and are in position to claim their third consecutive Voyageurs Cup.

Vancouver, meanwhile, yielded an 83rd-minute penalty kick to Montreal's Ali Gerba that forced their tie into extra time. The Whitecaps had won the first leg in Montreal, 1-0, and Gerba's goal leveled the aggregate score and gave each team an away goal.

After a scoreless first period of extra time, Vancouver's Mouloud Akloul finished a rebound off Alain Rochat's free kick in the 113th minute to put the Whitecaps back on top on aggregate, 2-1. They had to survive Gerba's header that hit the post in the final seconds to advance, though. Had Gerba scored, Montreal would have been through to the final via away goals.

The two-legged final begins May 18 at Empire Field and wraps up on May 25 at BMO Field, with the winner cementing a place in the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round.

In their only meeting in MLS play, Vancouver topped Toronto, 4-2, at Empire Field in the season opener for both teams. Eric Hassli scored twice for the Whitecaps, who also got goals from Russell Teibert and Atiba Harris. Then-TFCer Dwayne De Rosario leveled the score at 1-1, and Maicon Santos scored a late consolation goal for the Reds.


Who do you see winning the Canadian championship? Surprised Vancouver had a difficult time putting away Montreal? Which team has a better chance at succeeding in the Champions League?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Metro Croatia was the name of the team that won the NASL in 1976. They still have the CPSL and the Serbian White Eagles and Toronto Croatia are typically the top team. Judging by the quality of Edmonton, those teams could/should be in this tournament.

  2. Ha. Did my comment come across as needless bitching?
    A 1/4 chance or so of making the CCL compared to the route other teams have to take in a league of this size certainly seems skewed to me. If that observation is bitching, then order me an Appletini because I’m a bitch 🙂
    It was not meant as a slam against Canadian teams. I’m for fairness in as many ways as it can be done.

  3. tells you how bad they want that Canadian dough…cause it sure aint gonna come from honduras, el salvador, or the caribbean.After montreal’s showing a couple of yrs ago with that 55k attendance game, they’d probably prefer to allow 2teams. i dont see how countries outside of US & Mex contribute to the CCL. I mean, an exception here or there (saprissa) doesnt cut. Off topic, but maybe they should allow CCL games involving el salvador or gautemala to be played in LA. Just saying, some dough needs to be generated.

  4. It is an embarrassment that CONCACAF allows a country that doesn’t field a league to allocate a club for participation in the Champions League. All-the-while, CONCACAF bundles the Caribbean nations that do field leagues into a big qualification tournament.

    Total joke.

  5. i know! makes you wanna pinch their cheeks. I agree w/those saying throw in some amateur sides. Arent there these many ethnic teams in Toronto area? Wasnt there even a NASL team back in the day w/ “croats” or “serbs” in their name?
    Maybe they could make regional amateur tournaments, and the champs could play in the Nutrilife tournament, with even the caveat that they only have to have played 3 mos together. This would even allow for stronger amateur sides by essentially allowing them to become a sort regional all-star team.

  6. It would cost too much for amatuer teams to travel, just look at Air Canada prices to any US-based airlines and you’ll see what I mean.

  7. I agree, maybe find 12 teams and give the MLS/Div 2 teams a bye until the quarterfinals. One-off tourney until a two-legged final.

  8. couldn’t they add a couple of amateur teams or something? although I’m not too familiar with AM-soccer in Canada but four teams hardly seem like a tournament.


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