Winnipeg's Valour FC to host Edmonton in Canadian Premier League home opener

Winnipeg soccer fans will get their first look at the city's new pro team when Valour FC makes its home debut on May 4 at Investors Group Field.

New 7-team Canadian professional soccer league unveils split schedule

Rob Gale is the head coach and general manager of Winnipeg's Valour FC, which kicks off its first season on May 1 on Vancouver Island before a home game on May 4 against FC Edmonton. (Thomas Asselin/CBC)

Winnipeg soccer fans will get their first look at the city's new pro team when Valour FC makes its home debut on May 4 at Investors Group Field.

The seven-team Canadian Premier League released its full schedule Wednesday, along with competition format details.

Each CPL club will play 28 regular-season games, 14 home and 14 away.

The spring season will run from April 27 to July 1 with all seven clubs playing 10 matches.

The table will then be reset for the fall season, which will run from July 6 to Oct. 19. Clubs will play 18 matches in the second season.

After opening the spring season on Vancouver Island against Pacific FC on May 1, Valour will host FC Edmonton on Saturday, May 4, at 5 p.m. CT.

Other highlights of the home season include a Canada Day match against Toronto's York 9 FC and a Labour Day clash with Calgary's Cavalry FC.

"We are very excited to welcome soccer fans to Investors Group Field for what will be an exciting first year in the Canadian Premier League," said Valour FC's president and CEO Wade Miller in a release.

"We are only a few short months away and we hope the community is as excited as we are to welcome Valour FC to the pitch."

The spring and fall champions will meet in a final, whose format has yet to be decided, to decide the overall winner. If the same club wins both seasons, it will meet the club with the next most cumulative points across both seasons in the final.

The format is used in Mexico, where the "Apertura" and "Clausura" mark two distinct champions. The North American Soccer League, which used to be home to FC Edmonton, also split its schedule.

All seven CPL clubs will compete in a single table, with three points awarded for a victory, one for a draw and zero for a loss.

All clubs will play against one another at least four times — and at most five times — in the regular season.

Also in 2019, three clubs — Hamilton's Forge FC, Winnipeg's Valour FC, and FC Edmonton — will compete for a spot in the CONCACAF League, a qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Champions League. The team with the best head-to-head record by July 1 will be awarded the berth.

In subsequent years the CPL champion will secure entry in the CONCACAF League. The three franchises get first crack this year because of their seniority.

Valour FC will also have a shot at making the CONCACAF Champions League via the Canadian Championship. The team will get a bye into the second round of that competition, where they will play a two-game series on June 5 and June 12 against the winner of the first-round matchup of Vaughn Azzurri of League 1 Ontario and Halifax Wanderers of the CPL.

Season ticket prices on the Valour FC website range from $15 to $39 per game. View the team's CPL schedule here.

With files from Canadian Press