TORONTO — Jimmy Brennan is the only Canadian Premier League coach or player who has felt Canadian Championship glory.
A previous winner of the Voyageurs Cup (player and coach) with Toronto FC, the York9 FC boss has seen the tournament grow first-hand.
“I won a few with TFC as a player and coach, and I’d love to win one with York9,” Brennan said before being drawn against PLSQ side AS Blainville in Round 1 of the Canadian Championship.
“Because it’s the first year of this format, everyone is gonna have a go at it,” Brennan continued. “We’re keen to show our value in the CPL by getting into stages with MLS teams and showing them what we could do.
“We’re taking all competitions seriously. We’d love to have a great run in the Cup, even to win it. Same goes for the league.”
Out west, Pacific FC’s Michael Silberbauer was already scribbling out possible matchups prior to Tuesday’s draw, which saw the Van Isle said draw Cavalry FC.
“It will be good to see who we play and how far it will be,” Silberbauer told CanPL.ca. “From there, we can plan it out.”
The two-legged first round will take place May 15 and 22, mere weeks into the CPL’s schedule. With a long road in the cards for Pacific, Silberbauer is quick to mention player rotation.
“The trip is going to take a toll on your physique, travelling back and forth in multiple time zones,” Silberbauer continued. “It’s better to keep travel and all of these things to a minimum, especially early on when you’re trying to get into shape. This could be a good chance to rotate the squad a bit.”
With fellow B.C.-based side Vancouver Whitecaps standing by in the later stages, a clearly inticing tie for supporters, Silberbauer says he’s taking it one match at a time.
“You have to be careful with these early games. It’s not like you have multiple Cups or opportunities to succeed,” Silberbauer concluded.
“It’s all or nothing, so you need to be ready.”