Return of the champions

Two-time national champions Toronto FC will begin its title defence this Wednesday 27 April in Edmonton, AB. The opponent is debutant FC Edmonton, which joins the Nutrilite Canadian Championship this season as the fourth Canadian team. The champions will face the newcomers in a home-and-away semi-final series on 27 April (in Edmonton) and 4 May (in Toronto).

Two-time national champions Toronto FC will begin its title defence this Wednesday 27 April in Edmonton, AB. The opponent is debutant FC Edmonton, which joins the Nutrilite Canadian Championship this season as the fourth Canadian team. The champions will face the newcomers in a home-and-away semi-final series on 27 April (in Edmonton) and 4 May (in Toronto).



With four teams in the championship, the new format features home-and-away two-leg semi-final series. The winner of the Toronto-Edmonton series will face the winner of the Vancouver-Montréal series in the two-leg championship final (18 and 25 May).



Toronto FC entered its fifth season with major changes at the top. It all starts with new head coach and technical director Aron Winter (pronounced VIN-ter). One of Winter’s first tasks has been to change the culture and style of Toronto FC, aiming for a “creative, attractive, possession-oriented game” for which the club will become known.



With a new man in charge, there is of course some bright new names in the lineup, too. Of note is the new captain Maicon Santos, who will make his championship debut on Wednesday. The Brazilian came to Canada last July, roughly one month after Toronto FC won its second Nutrilite Canadian Championship.



Maicon Santos succeeds two-time George Gross Memorial Trophy winner Dwayne De Rosario as the team captain. De Rosario left Toronto FC earlier this season in a trade with New York Red Bulls.



Another new player is midfielder Tony Tchani who was acquired in the De Rosario deal. Tchani was the second-overall pick in last year’s 2010 MLS Super Draft. He scored his first goal with his new team on Saturday 23 April in Toronto FC’s 1:1 draw against the Columbus Crew.



Two other new faces are forwards Alan Gordon and Javier Martina. Both players have scored two goals in this young MLS season (Toronto FC has one win, four draws and two losses). Gordon was acquired from Chivas USA last August while Martina is new to the team this season on loan from HFC Haarlem (Netherlands).



Along with all the new faces, there are also 11 returning champions from last year’s Nutrilite Canadian Championship. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei, midfielder Julian de Guzman and team MVP Adrian Cann are just a few of the returning players from last year’s competition. De Guzman was the Man of the Match in Toronto FC’s most recent 1:1 draw at home on Saturday.



The 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship runs 27 April to 25 May. Toronto’s two semi-final matches are 27 April at home (20.00 ET / 18.00 MT / 17.00 PT kick off) and 4 May on the road (20.00 ET / 18.00 MT / 17.00 PT kick off). Both matches will be broadcast live in high definition on Rogers Sportsnet. The winner of the Toronto-Edmonton series will advance to face the winner of the Vancouver-Montréal series

Schedule & Results

Check out Canada Soccer’s Schedule & Results page where you can find upcoming match schedules and past results leading to highlights, photos, match data, and more.