As we talked about earlier in the week, Quebec, or more specifically Montreal, will play host to France's Champions Cup. It's the winner of league facing the winner of the French Cup. For those not in tune with this competition, it would be similar to the Community Shield in England, where the league winner plays the FA Cup winner (last year it was Portsmouth v Manchester United). I'm not exactly sure how this tournament draw in France. I do know that most people in England have a bit of pride with their team winning the Community Shield, but if they lose, they aren't exactly running for the nearest bridge. For most teams, it's just part of the pre-season warm-up, not something they desperately need to win. united fans have other events to worry about, Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and the League.
All that leads me back to the French Cup. While it is nice that it will be played outside of France for the first time, it's hard to get overly excited. Seeing the Ligue 1 winners (at time of writing may be either Bordeaux or Marseille) will be a thrill, but seeing Ligue 2 side, En Avant Guingam is hardly a name that most will recognize or even get excited about. All in all, it should be an entertaining match. For En Avant Guingam, it's about showing what they can do against a Ligue 1 side. For the team that wins the title in France, it's about getting ready for the season and the Champions League... and perhaps a little pride.
What would be nice, is to see either Marseille or Bordeaux play some friendlies while in Canada. Perhaps they are already working out a deal to play the Impact or maybe even TFC (although unlikely against TFC). Friendlies are rarely enough to get excited about, but it's also nice to debate the level of play between the leagues. Duane Rollins from "The 24th Minute" likes a good league contrast and compare. I've seen my fair share of French action on Setanta (unfortunately, never live and in person) and while it's not at the level of England, Spain and Italy, it does offer a very entertaining brand of soccer with young players on the cusp of greatness (or at least a big fat contract with the big 3 leagues). Hopefully, as I doubt I can make the trip to Montreal this summer to see the match, it will be broadcast on television for fans across Canada.