Whitecaps FC won the 2022 Canadian Championship tonight after a thrilling penalty shootout victory over Toronto FC at BC Place. The team hoisted the Voyageurs Cup in front of a record-breaking Canadian Championship crowd in Vancouver (of 24,307 fans).
The win secures the Whitecaps’ spot in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League, the annual continental club competition featuring the best 16 teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Win Canadian Championship
Here’s how the match played out:
The ‘Caps opened the scoring in the 19th minute when forward Brian White headed in his third goal of the tournament to make it 1-0. Toronto FC would look to build momentum in possession, but Vancouver’s compact defending fended off every opportunity.
However, Toronto would find an equalizer in the second half. Following a corner, a short pass placed by Nelson connected to Federico Bernardeschi, who’s curled cross found Lukas MacNaughton inside the area, with the defender heading in the equalizer in the 75th minute to make it 1-1.
As the play progressed, White sent in a short pass to substitute Tosaint Ricketts, who’s strike was strongly saved by Alex Bono, sending the match to a shootout. Vancouver would hit all five of their shots in the shootout, with only Toronto’s Jonathan Osorio hitting the post. Defender Tristan Blackmon would then score the shootout winner to give the ‘Caps their second Voyageurs Cup in club history!
Whitecaps FC qualify for the 2023 Concacaf Champions League
This will mark the third time in club history that the ‘Caps play in the Champions League, after first qualifying for the 2015-16 edition, before making a run to the semifinals in the following 2016-17 tournament.
The Concacaf Champions League is the regional competition to crown the best club in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean – similar to the UEFA Champions League in Europe – sending the victor to the FIFA Club World Cup.
Teams that have already qualified for the 2023 Concacaf Champions League include:
Liga MX (Mexico)
- Atlas FC (2021 Apertura and 2022 Clausura champions)
- Tigres UANL (best ranked team on aggregate table)
- Club León (2021 Apertura runners-up)
- CF Pachuca (2022 Clausura runners-up
- Violette (2022 Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship champions)
Still to qualify for 2023 are the champions of the U.S. Open Cup, as well as three guaranteed teams from MLS including the winner of MLS Cup, the Supporters Shield, and the Eastern or Western Conference regular season champion who does not win the Supporters Shield. The final six qualifiers will emerge from the 2022 Concacaf League.
2023 will be the final year of the current format for the Concacaf Champions League, featuring 16 teams in a knockout format. Starting in 2024, a revised format will be introduced featuring 27 teams with additional qualifying pathways from the Leagues Cup (a tournament that will include every club from MLS and Liga MX), the Central American Cup, and the Caribbean Football Union Cup.