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TSS Rovers FC replace Victoria Highlanders in Canadian Championship field

TSS Rovers FC are replacing the inactive Victoria Highlanders in this year's Canadian Championship and will face Pacific FC of the Canadian Premier League in the preliminary round. Pacific FC's Sean Young, right, tries to hold back TSS Rovers' Matteo Polisi during second half Canadian Championship quarterfinal soccer action in Langford, B.C., Wednesday, May 10, 2023. (Chad Hipolito / The Canadian Press) TSS Rovers FC are replacing the inactive Victoria Highlanders in this year's Canadian Championship and will face Pacific FC of the Canadian Premier League in the preliminary round. Pacific FC's Sean Young, right, tries to hold back TSS Rovers' Matteo Polisi during second half Canadian Championship quarterfinal soccer action in Langford, B.C., Wednesday, May 10, 2023. (Chad Hipolito / The Canadian Press)
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TSS Rovers FC are replacing the inactive Victoria Highlanders in this year's Canadian Championship and will face Pacific FC of the Canadian Premier League in the preliminary round.

The Highlanders secured the Canadian championship berth by winning League1 B.C. in July. But the club announced earlier this month that it will not operate a men's or women's team this season.

“Despite our best efforts over the past two months we have been unable to reach an agreement with the new owners of League1 B.C. that would allow us to carry on the Victoria Highlanders and still maintain our mission of providing a volunteer driven, not-for-profit community team for women and men looking to take their next step in soccer,” the club said in an April 8 statement.

The B.C. league was acquired by Canadian Soccer Business from B.C. Soccer in December. CSB, which shares the same ownership group as the Canadian Premier League, also owns League1 Ontario.

Victoria beat TSS Rovers in the final game of the regular season to top the 2023 League1 B.C. regular-season standings.

Canada Soccer, which runs the Canadian Championship, said Friday that TSS Rovers are replacing Victoria in the tournament by virtue of finishing league runner-up

TSS Rovers will face Pacific on May 1 at Starlight Stadium in Langford, B.C.

The team from Burnaby, B.C., defeated the CPL's Valour FC 3-1 in last year's Canadian Championship before falling 2-0 to Pacific.

The 14-club Canadian Championship kicks off Wednesday with Cavalry FC hosting Vancouver FC in an all-CPL matchup.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2024.

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