With Toronto FC involved, the Voyageurs Cup has always been a three-team, now five-team, tournament. However, for Toronto, it has almost always been decided against the Montreal Impact. The 401 derby has seen some of its best moments in the Canadian Championship.
In Toronto FC's first ever Voyageurs Cup tournament in 2008 they drew 1-1 at home with the Impact, a USL-1 side until 2010, to hand Montreal the trophy. Toronto won its first ever cup just a year later, clinched in a 6-1 victory over the Impact that has since been dubbed the "miracle in Montreal".
Toronto would go on to win the next three tournaments, beating the Impact again in the semi-finals of the 2012 tournament. The only Canadian Championship that they have not met the Impact in was in 2011 when they beat FC Edmonton in the semi-finals before beating Vancouver in the final.
Lately, however, having their tournament's fate decided in a game against the Impact has not been such a positive thing for Toronto FC. The Impact has eliminated Toronto FC in each of the past three tournaments, including a 2-1 win on aggregate in the 2014 final.
Last year, Toronto FC came darn close to beating the Impact. After losing 1-0 at Saputo Stadium in the first leg, Toronto delivered a strong home performance. All three designated players, Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley got in on the scoring. It was, perhaps, their best game as a trio as they combined incredibly well.
However, Montreal ruined the party. Kenny Cooper cancelled out Altidore's opener, before Dominic Oduro scored against the run of play in the 84th minute to give the Impact the win on away goals despite Toronto winning the match 3-2. Not understanding the gravity of the moment, TFC game ops let off fireworks and several fans cheered at the final whistle.
None of Toronto FC's three designated players will be in the lineup for tonight's match, with the exception of Giovinco who could come off the bench. Altidore is on the shelf with a hamstring injury, Bradley is away on international duty and Giovinco is dealing with an adductor injury.
Toronto FC will also be without Will Johnson, who is away with the Canadian men's national team for a pair of friendlies in Austria. Tsubasa Endoh is still trying to return from a contusion, and may or may not be in the lineup. The same can be said of Drew Moor, as his wife gave birth yesterday morning.
With the exception of Laurent Ciman, who is with Belgium preparing for Euro 2016, Montreal isn't expected to have any notable absences today. Coach Mauro Biello even said that Didier Drogba could possibly play, a player who has been a thorn in the side of Toronto FC.
The 38-year-old Drogba scored a pair of goals in his first ever meeting with Toronto FC, before scoring in a 3-0 playoff win over Toronto. However, when the two clubs met earlier in the year Toronto held Drogba and the Impact scoreless in a 2-0 victory that was the highlight of their season-opening road trip.
If Toronto is going to win today it will come down to strong performances from young Canadian players. Jordan Hamilton is expected to get his first ever start with Toronto FC's senior team alongside fellow academy graduate Mo Babouli. Jay Chapman, who earned some minutes in last year's Voyageurs Cup, will likely start in the midfield.
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