Edmonton hosts Ottawa in 2016 Championship opener
Posted on 10 May 2016 in Canadian Championship
The spotlight is on an all-Canadian playoff series for the next two Wednesday nights as Edmonton and Ottawa meet in the preliminary round of Canada Soccer's Amway Canadian Championship. The 2016 series opens on 11 May at Clarke Field when FC Edmonton hosts Ottawa Fury FC in the first leg of the two-match series.
Both matches - with the return leg on 18 May at TD Place in Ottawa - will be broadcast on canadasoccer.com. The winner of the total goals series will advance to the semi-final phase to meet Vancouver Whitecaps FC, last year's national champions.
This marks the third consecutive year that the two sides will meet in the opening round. FC Edmonton won both series in 2014 and 2015, with three wins and one draw in those four matches (nine goals scored, three goals conceded). Earlier this year in North American Soccer League action, FC Edmonton won 2:0 at Clarke Field in the first Edmonton-Ottawa encounter of the new calendar year.
Both sides feature Canadians making their Amway Canadian Championship debut in 2016. FC Edmonton could dress Nathan Ingham, Nik Ledgerwood, and Shamit Shome; Ottawa Fury FC could dress Marcel de Jong, Mozesh Gyorio, and Andrew MacRae.
While several players will make their debut in 2016, Ottawa captain Julian de Guzman could dress for his fifth Championship. He hopes to match the competition's all-time leaders with five seasons played, joining Doneil Henry (now in England), Gershon Koffie (now in USA), and Russell Teibert (still with Whitecaps FC) at the top table.
As for coaches, this marks Colin Miller's fourth Championship with FC Edmonton and Paul Dalglish's first Championship with Ottawa Fury FC.
“It’s an exciting time,” said Miller of FC Edmonton. “The players are excited about it. We had a good session this (Monday) morning…we’ll have some decisions to make for Wednesday night because there are several players available for selection.”
"This competition is very important to us," said Dalglish of Ottawa Fury FC. "With the prize at stake being a match against Vancouver we will be doing everything in our power to ensure that it us playing in that match."
The Amway Canadian Championship is Canada Soccer's professional competition featuring clubs from Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal. The national champion lifts the Voyageurs Cup and wins Canada's lone spot in CONCACAF Champions League on the road to the FIFA Club World Cup.
EDMONTON v OTTAWA
2014-04-23 - Ottawa Fury FC 0:0 FC Edmonton
2014-04-30 - FC Edmonton 3:1 Ottawa Fury FC
2015-04-22 - Ottawa Fury FC 1:3 FC Edmonton FC
2015-04-29 - FC Edmonton 3:1 Ottawa Fury FC
2016-05-11 - FC Edmonton v Ottawa Fury FC at 19.00 local (21.00 ET / 19.00 MT / 18.00 PT)
2016-05-18 - Ottawa Fury FC v FC Edmonton at 19.30 local (19.30 ET / 17.30 MT / 16.30 PT)