The 2013 Voyageurs Cup will be the sixth edition of the competition and in case you were not aware Toronto FC are the four time defending champions having won the tournament in every year except for the first year, thanks Jeff Cunnigham. This year they will again have to overcome the other three professional Canadian teams if they want to defend their crown and return to the CONCACAF Champions League.
The Vancouver Whitecaps have been the runners up each of the last four seasons, the Montreal Impact won the first edition of the tournament, and NASL side FC Edmonton are just hoping to get past the semifinal round for the first time. What we know so far is that Edmonton will be the fourth seed in the tournament by virtue of being in the lower league, Toronto FC will be the third seed thanks to their likely last place finish in MLS, and Montreal and Vancouver will decide the top two seeds based on who ends the MLS season with more points. It continues to be a close race between the clubs so we may not know Toronto's semifinal opponent until much closer to the end of the season.
The problem with the seeding is how does it make sense to rank the clubs based on how they performed in a completely different competition? Yes, Toronto has been awful in MLS play but this tournament has nothing to do with MLS and should not be seeded based on those results. An annual tournament featuring the same group of teams should be seeded based on the results of the last years tournament. Toronto as the defending champions would then be the number 1 seed, Vancouver the 2 seed, Montreal the 3 seed, and Edmonton still as the fourth seed. It would make more sense than basing the tournament on results that are not connected to it in any way.
That is not the only problem with the tournament for next year though. The fact that they decided to use April 24th and May 1st as the dates for the semifinal matches is in a way disrespectful of TFC. TFC is still going in the CCL at this point in time and even though it is a massive long shot they could be playing the two legs of the the finals on the exact same dates. Until the time that TFC is eliminated from the competition the CSA should have respected those dates and left them open for the club to potentially be involved in CCL play. Now, if Toronto does get past Santos Laguna they will be forced to come up with a contingency plan should the Reds make a push towards the final next spring.
Now for the dates! As the #3 seed Toronto will go on the road to either Vancouver or Montreal in the first leg of the semifinal on April 24th before returning home on May 1st. If they were to make it to the final the first leg would be on May 15th and they will be at home if the #1 seed wins the other semifinal or on the road if Edmonton advances. The return leg will them be on May 29th.
1st Leg on 24 April 2012 – #4 vs. #1
1st Leg on 24 April 2012 – #3 vs. #2
2nd Leg on 1 May 2012 – #2 vs. #3
2nd Leg on 1 May 2012 – #1 vs. #4
1st Leg on 15 May 2012
2nd Leg on 29 May 2012