Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC | Canadian Championship Match Preview
Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC
Stade Saputo, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Amway Canadian Championship semifinals, first leg
May 6, 7:30 pm ET
Just seven days after coming excruciatingly close to winning the CONCACAF Champions League, the Montreal Impact will begin their march toward the 2016-2017 CCL on Wednesday night, when they host heated rivals Toronto FC in the first leg of their Amway Canadian Championship semifinal series.
Montreal – who are gunning for their third-straight Voyageurs Cup – and Toronto met in last year’s Canadian Championship, with the Impact getting a 91st minute goal in the decisive second leg to beat the Reds 2-1 on aggregate and take home their second consecutive title.
Toronto FC finally finished their season-opening seven-game road trip last Saturday, getting a marvelous free kick goal from Designated Player Sebastian Giovinco to beat the Philadelphia Union 1-0 at PPL Park.
The draining road trip, coupled with TFC’s grand re-opening of BMO Field on Sunday against Houston, could prompt Reds head coach Greg Vanney to rest some of his bigger-name players, with Giovinco and US internationals Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore not certain to get a full run-out. Of course, their potential absences would provide opportunities for some of TFC’s more lightly used players, a group that includes Homegrown player Jonathan Osorio, ex-Impact midfielder Collen Warner and English striker Luke Moore, among others.
The Impact re-scheduled several MLS games to better accommodate their CCL run, leading to a bit of fixture congestion that will see the Impact play four matches in 10 days beginning with Wednesday’s contest. It remains to be seen how head coach Frank Klopas will rotate his squad, which is undoubtedly feeling some mental fatigue after falling just short of becoming the first MLS team to win the CCL.
Montreal vs. Toronto – Canadian Championship History
These two teams have dominated the Canadian Championship, with one or the other winning the title every year since the tournament began in 2008. Toronto FC has the overall edge, winning the Voyageurs Cup four times (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012), one more than the Impact’s three titles (2008, 2013, 2014).
Toronto and Montreal have met in six of the seven editions of the Canadian Championship. Toronto held a decided advantage over their rivals from 2008-2011 when the tournament was played as a three-team round-robin with TFC, Montreal and Vancouver, with Toronto posting a 5-0-1 record over Montreal during that span.
After not facing each other in 2011 (the first year that the tournament shifted to a bracket format), they met in the semifinals in 2012, with Toronto again beating the Impact en route to their fourth Voyageurs Cup crown. The Impact have gotten a measure of revenge on TFC in the last two years, smashing the Reds 6-2 on aggregate in the 2013 semifinals before beating them 2-1 in last year’s final.