New rivalry in place for Championship clubs

Three is a charm, or so it shall be in 2012 when Montréal joins Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Major League Soccer. Montréal has been accepted as the 19th franchise in Major League Soccer, with the expansion news announced Friday morning from eXcentris in downtown Montréal. Montréal’s ascension means that all three founding clubs in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship will be in Major League Soccer within two years time.

Three is a charm, or so it shall be in 2012 when Montréal joins Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Major League Soccer. Montréal has been accepted as the 19th franchise in Major League Soccer, with the expansion news announced Friday morning from eXcentris in downtown Montréal. Montréal’s ascension means that all three founding clubs in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship will be in Major League Soccer within two years time.



“Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver have ignited quite the rivalry these past three seasons in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship,” said Canadian Soccer Association General Secretary Peter Montopoli. “Canadian fans will now get to watch this rivalry transfer over to league play in Major League Soccer.”



Toronto FC joined Major League Soccer in 2007, one year before the inauguration of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. In March 2009, Vancouver was confirmed with Portland as the 17th and 18th franchises in MLS, set to begin play as expansion clubs in 2011. Now, Montréal has been confirmed as the 19th franchise with the city’s expansion earmarked for 2012.



Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver are currently taking part in the third season of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, running six consecutive Wednesday nights from 28 April to 2 June. The winner of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship qualifies for CONCACAF Champions League, the 24-club North American championship that qualifies one club for the FIFA Club World Cup. Next week’s Nutrilite Canadian Championship match features Impact Montréal and Toronto FC on Wednesday 12 May at Stade Saputo in Montréal.



Montréal’s history before Major League Soccer includes a Canadian title in the 2008 Nutrilite Canadian Championship, with a run to the quarter-final stage of CONCACAF Champions League. Montréal drew more than 55,000 fans to Stade Olympique for its quarter-final match against Club Santos Laguna (a 2:0 victory). Montréal has also won three league playoff championships: 1994 APSL, 2004 A-League and 2006 USL First Division.

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