Canada ready for historic 2016 MLS Cup in Toronto
Posted on 8 December 2016 in Around the Soccer World
Canada will be watching soccer this Saturday night when Toronto FC tries to lift one more trophy before the end of the 2016 Major League Soccer season. The Canadian club will face Seattle Sounders FC in the league's playoff championship final, with the Canadian television broadcast to kick off at 19.00 ET / 16.00 PT on TSN.
In just their 10th MLS season, Toronto FC have reached the MLS Cup final for the first time. The match will be played in Toronto, Ontario with a 20.00 local kick off at BMO Field (20.00 ET / 17.00 PT). Toronto FC reached the MLS Cup final after a thrilling Eastern Conference final against Impact Montréal FC.
Before kick off, local fans will enjoy the Toronto 'Til I Die Pre-Game Street Party at Liberty Village. The city has closed East Liberty Street between Hanna and Snooker from 15.00-18.00 ET. The pre-match party will feature live music from DJ Skratch Bastid.
From there, fans will head to BMO Field, home to an incredible and energetic world-class soccer atmosphere. Both Canadian clubs enjoyed sell-out crowds for their MLS Eastern Conference finals, with cumulative 97,004 fans split between the two matches. Toronto FC are expecting another full house for the MLS Cup final on Saturday.
On television, Bell Media set MLS viewership records for Canada in both legs of the Toronto-Montréal series: more than one million viewers for the first leg on 22 November (595,000 on TSN and 429,000 on RDS) followed by 1.4 million for the second leg on 30 November (862,000 on TSN and 519,000 on RDS).
The Saturday 10 December final will be broadcast on TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, and RDS. The MLS Cup final will be called by Luke Wileman and Steven Caldwell while the live broadcast will be anchored by James Duthie. The show will also feature Andi Petrillo, Kristian Jack, Greg Sutton, Vic Rauter, and guest panelist Carl Robinson. Duthie will interview both Don Garber (MLS Commissioner) and Victor Montagliani (CONCACAF President and Canada Soccer President).
Ahead of the 2016 MLS Cup final, both Major League Soccer and Canada Soccer announced game-changing initiatives for Canadian soccer that will take effect in 2017. These initiatives include the establishment of a joint MLS-Canada Soccer task force to focus on the advancement of youth development in Canada, the expansion of the Generation adidas program to Canada, and the modification of the parameters that determine a player's international status on MLS clubs in both USA and Canada.
Major League Soccer features three Canadian teams: Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the west and Toronto FC and Impact Montréal FC in the east. Along with their regular season and playoffs, the Canadian teams also participate in the Canadian Championship, with Toronto FC the 2016 winners back on 29 June. Already this year, Toronto FC have won the Voyageurs Cup in the Canadian Championship, the Trillium Cup in the Toronto-Columbus season-long series, and the MLS Eastern Conference title in the MLS playoffs.