The full 2024 Canadian Premier League schedule was released on Tuesday, giving fans across Canada the opportunity to start circling dates on their calendars ahead of the new campaign.
Regular season action will begin with a triple-header on Saturday, April 13, featuring Atlético Ottawa vs York United, a CPL Final rematch with Forge FC hosting Cavalry FC, and Pacific FC hosting Halifax Wanderers FC. The next day, Vancouver FC will host Valour FC in the final match of round one. There will be 112 matches in total in the regular season, culminating on Oct. 19, when all eight teams will play, as playoff positioning could be decided during the final round of matches.
Below is a team-by-team breakdown, highlighting some of the interesting aspects of all eight club calendars. The full 2024 CPL schedule is available here.
As they did last year, Pacific FC open the 2024 season with a lot of home games, with six of their first eight games of the year coming at Starlight Stadium. Their two away games in that stretch are hardly cross-country expeditions either, with one a province over against Cavalry at ATCO Field in round three, and the other a ferry ride away against Vancouver FC in round seven.
They begin the year hosting Halifax Wanderers to close out the CPL triple header on April 13, before welcoming Valour to the west coast six days later. They then head to Calgary for the aforementioned match against Cavalry FC, before returning home for their longest homestand of the season — where they will host each of the Ontario teams. A trip to Vancouver follows, before returning home for a rematch against the Calgarians.
It gets a bit more difficult from there, with six of their next seven games away from Langford. They travel to Halifax, Valour and York, then host Vancouver for another Salish Sea Derby, before then traveling to Ottawa, Halifax and Forge. Those Halifax and Forge games are just a few days apart, as they play on Thursday, July 11 on the east coast, and then Sunday, July 11 in Hamilton.
Three of their final five matches are on the road, but they finish their campaign on home turf, hosting Forge in a rematch of the 2021 CPL Final on Saturday, Oct. 19.
In their sophomore CPL campaign, Vancouver FC will open the season at home for the first time as they welcome Valour to Langley Events Centre to close out the opening weekend of the season. That will be the first of back-to-back home games for VFC, who host Halifax Wanderers four days later for some Thursday night action in the Lower Mainland.
Next they head away from home to visit York United and Cavalry FC, before returning home for a match against Atlético Ottawa. In round seven — on Saturday, May 25 — they host the first Salish Sea Derby of the year when they welcome Pacific FC to Langley. The next week they head to Winnipeg to play in Valour’s long-awaited home opener, and the first CPL match on IG Field’s renovated turf.
Vancouver play five of six matches at the end of July and into August at home, but it could be a challenging stretch, as they host Atlético Ottawa, York United, and Cavalry FC. The latter two matches are part of a run where they will play all five of the 2023 playoff teams in a row — the others being Halifax (away), Pacific (home), and Forge (home). They play all five 2023 playoff teams in a row again in September and early October, with three of five coming on the road this time.
Their season will end in the nation’s capital with a decision day finale against Atlético Ottawa.
Last season, Cavalry FC had the best regular season in CPL history, finishing 13 points clear at the top of the table and cruising to the CPL Shield. They went on to lose the CPL Final in heartbreaking fashion — watching their biggest rivals Forge FC lift the North Star Cup after extra time wondergoals from Béni Badibanga and Tristan Borges.
They will begin their title defence in the same place last season ended, Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. Both Cavalry and Forge will have an early start to the season after competing in the Concacaf Champions Cup, setting up an early season clash that will be must-watch. After that match they head further east to the capital to take on Atlético Ottawa, before heading home in round three for their home opener on April 28 against Pacific FC.
That match against the Tridents is the first in a stretch of four of five home games for the Cavs, who have the best home record of any team in CPL history through the league’s first five seasons. They take on Vancouver FC the next week before heading to Halifax, then returning home for games against York United and Valour FC.
Their second trip to Halifax comes on Monday, July 1 when they visit the Wanderers for the lone Canada Day match on the 2024 CPL schedule.
As summer turns to fall, Cavalry’s last eight matches of the season alternate between home and away throughout September and October. They finish the season away against Valour FC, before what they hope will be another spot in the playoffs and a crack at their first playoff title.
Due to ongoing installation of a new turf pitch at IG Field, Valour FC won’t be able to play at home for the first quarter of the 2024 CPL campaign, playing seven road games in a row before finally heading home on June 2.
They will visit each other team once throughout this seven-game trip, beginning with a visit to Vancouver FC on the opening weekend of the season. Next, they visit Pacific FC five days later, before kicking off a three-game Ontario road trip. They then head east to Halifax, then Calgary to finish a gruelling schedule. It will be a difficult way to start the season, but it could also serve as an opportunity for a rebuilding Valour side to bond and come closer together as a squad.
The other positive of a long road trip to start the season is that 14 of their remaining 21 matches will come in front of their own fans. Only three teams in the CPL (Pacific and Vancouver the others) will have a streak of three consecutive home matches at some point in the 2024 regular season, but Valour will get to do that three times.
They have another three-game road trip in late July that will see them visit Halifax, Ottawa, and Langford — but will follow it with four games in a row at home after that as they look to pick up a lot of points at home and get into a groove in front of their home supporters — something they struggled to do in 2023.
Winnipeg will be the site of a Monday evening match on Sept. 30, as Valour hosts Pacific on an important day in Canada, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Valour’s season will end at IG Field on Oct. 19, when they host 2023 regular season champions Cavalry FC as part of a stretch of four out of five matches on their home turf.
Last October, Forge FC became the first team to win a CPL Final on home turf, winning their fourth title by beating rivals Cavalry FC at Tim Hortons Field and lifting the North Star Cup. They will celebrate that championship and kick off their 2024 season on that very same pitch, against Cavalry as well.
That CPL Final rematch will kick off a stretch where the Hammers will play five of eight games at home to begin the new campaign — with two of those road games coming in Ontario. They make the trip to York Lions Stadium to play York United on the second weekend of the season, before returning home for games against Valour FC and Halifax Wanderers. After a trip across the country to play Pacific FC in round five, Forge return home to take on the other British Columbia side, Vancouver FC, before heading to Ottawa in round seven — then back to Hamilton to host York United in the second 905 Derby of the year.
Forge will host a rare Tuesday morning game on May 7, when Halifax Wanderers are in town for a school day game at Tim Hortons Field, which will kick off at 11 a.m. ET.
Their first multi-game road trip of the year comes in June, when they will visit Calgary and then Halifax, on June 8 and 15, respectively. Their most difficult road trip might be the two games they play away from home in September, when they visit the Wanderers on September 14 before heading to the opposite coast to take on Vancouver FC in Langley a week later.
Four of their final six matches come on the road, finishing with another visit to BC in round 28 to face Pacific FC at Starlight Stadium on Oct. 19.
York United FC
After beating the capital city club to the final playoff spot in the final week of last season, York United open their 2024 season at TD Place against Atlético Ottawa. The Nine Stripes won three of their four meetings with their cross-province rivals in 2023, with the other ending in an entertaining 3-3 draw. Match number one of 112 of the new season should be an entertaining one between two sides that will be in the conversation for playoff spots again in 2024.
York then head home for another all-Ontario matchup, a 905 Derby at York Lions Stadium against Forge FC — a team that has defeated them in each of their last three trips to Toronto. York remain at home for round three, when they will host Vancouver FC.
A lot of the first half of York’s campaign will be on the road, and they won’t play consecutive home games again until August, when they host Cavalry and Forge for a back-to-back Friday night matches under the lights. If York — who have ambitious new owners after being purchased by Game Plan Sports Group in the offseason — are indeed in the playoff picture at the business end of the regular season, their early season road-heavy schedule could be to their advantage, as six of their final ten games come on their home turf.
That could present a big opportunity for them to string some important points together, as long as their improve on their home performance from a year ago. York were the second-worst home team in the league a year ago, picking up just 14 points in 14 matches, but made up for it with a league-best 24 points on the road.
The Nine Stripes finish the regular season on the east coast, taking on the Halifax Wanderers on Oct. 19.
The first match of the new campaign is a great time to make a statement of intent for the rest of the year, and Atlético Ottawa have the chance to do that in front of their home supporters on April 13 in game one of 112 of the CPL regular season. Hosting York United, who beat them three times in 2023 to narrowly beat them to the final playoff spot, expect the capital city club to come out with all guns blazing after the way last season ended.
Three of Ottawa’s four matches to start the season come on home turf, as they host Cavalry FC in round two, visit Halifax in week three, and then return home for a date with Valour FC in round four. A west coast road trip follows that, with trips to Langley Events Centre and Starlight Stadium back-to-back, before returning to Ottawa to host Forge FC in a 2022 CPL Final rematch, and Halifax Wanderers.
They have a three-game road trip in August that will see them travel from coast-to-coast, playing in Hamilton on August 10, Langford on Aug. 17, and Halifax on Aug. 24 after a cross-country journey.
They close the season with four of their final seven matches on the road, playing each team once. They finish off their fifth CPL campaign at home, hosting fellow expansion side Vancouver FC on Oct. 19.
Halifax Wanderers FC
Playing in the second-largest country in the world comes with some unique situations, one of which is the length of the road trip between the Halifax Wanderers on Canada’s east coast and Pacific FC and Vancouver on the west coast — one of the longest football away trips in the world. With several thousand kilometres between the two, making several trips back and forth can be demanding, and for this reason, the Wanderers will be happy with the fact that two of their four west coast matches will come in one go, as they visit Pacific and Vancouver in weeks one and two of the season.
After their early road trip, they head back home to Nova Scotia, where they will host Atlético Ottawa in their home opener on April 27. They head to Hamilton next to play Forge, before returning to Wanderers Grounds to host Cavalry and Valour. That game in Hamilton is a unique Tuesday morning game on May 7, as they take on Forge FC at 11 a.m. ET in a school day event at Tim Hortons Field, before heading back home to host the Cavs.
The game against Valour comes on Victoria Day, Monday, May 20 — the first of four holiday Monday home games on Halifax’s schedule this year as they they continue to make Wanderers Grounds one of the marquee places to be in the city. The rest of their Monday games include hosting Cavalry on Canada Day (July 1), Vancouver on Natal Day (Aug. 5), and York United on Labour Day (Sept. 2). There have been some Monday afternoon CPL classics over the years in Halifax, and it is becoming a regular CPL tradition.
On the final day of the season, Oct. 19, the Wanderers will host York United. After hosting a playoff game at Wanderers Grounds for the first time last season, they will be hoping for the same in 2024 after 28 rounds of regular season action.