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Friday 6 January 2012

2012 Voyageur’s Cup

    The schedule now released; the combine kicked off; the draft in a few days time; players reporting to training camps in the coming weeks; it’s suddenly starting to feel a lot like 2012.

    But quite possibly more intriguing than that is the potential for a glorious edition of the Voyageur’s Cup (Nutrilite Canadian Championship). All three big teams are finally on equal footing – league and finance-wise – and then there’s FC Edmonton with a solid year of growth under their feet; more than a little success to celebrate.

    Last year’s competition was the best to date; the level of play elevated, the drama intensified, and the weather uncompromising. Though the new format does not provide the round-robin enjoyment of the inaugural events, it is still an excellent launching point.

    There was some hope that the competition would expand to include the Victoria Highlanders and that perhaps some of the kinks in the tournament rules would be hammered out, but according to unofficial reports, these issues will not be addressed this time around. But regardless of the incomplete and possibly flawed nature, it will be another good year.

    Establishing a firm base with this limited tournament will enable its expansion in the coming years as more teams pop up around the nation. At least a play in series between Edmonton and Victoria – and, in time, any other similarly stationed clubs - should be added, as it would provide a chance to build and foster new domestic rivalries without overburdening already stretched MLS rosters and day planners.  

    Regardless of whether a national league is constructed in the future, the ability for Canadian domestic clubs to take to the field as opponents will surely be a boon to the game.

Duncan Fletcher, of Waking the Red and Sportsnet.ca takes it a step further in calling for a Canadian FA Cup, perhaps the SA Cup.

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