Let’s be honest with ourselves. The Canada Men’s National Team has been a bit of a disappointment the last 2 years. Yes there are flashes of brilliance, but lately, all we get is one disappointment after another.
In 2019’s gold cup Canada was up 3-0 against lower ranked Haiti in the quarter-final, only to see their lead dry up in a 4-3 loss. We also saw Canada defeat the US for the first time in 34 years. But, that was shortly followed up by a decisive 4-0 defeat by the US knocking us out of the CONCACAF Nations League.
We need to do better.
Why is Improvement Important?
Canada is on the cusp of a renaissance of sorts in terms of Soccer. We have a professional league (again), our MLS Canadian clubs are beginning to make waves, and we arguably have one of the best players in the world playing for our national side in Alphonso Davies.
If we want soccer to continue to grow in Canada, we need some solid Canadian performances. Because Canada is co-hosting the world cup in 2026, the time for those performances is now!
With this years change in CONCACAF world cup qualifying and today’s draw result, the Canadian Men’s National Team has great opportunity that they need to make good on. Canada will face Suriname (world rank 141), Bermuda (168), Cayman Islands (193), and Aruba (200).
While this path to the second round may feel easy, Canada needs to be sure they never underestimate any of these teams. A single loss in any of these 3 games could spell the end of the qualifying run.
For me, the goal is obviously one of the 3 world cup qualifying positions. In terms of national soccer growth though, at a minimum we need to make the third round of qualifying (the Octagonal). Having those 14 matches against top quality teams is what will draw in fans and excitement around soccer in this country.
Canadian Soccer stands before the gates of national recognition. Excitement is building around the sport for the first time in decades. But, if we fail to make the octagonal, or worse. It may be at least another 4 years before soccer really begins to take off in this country. And I for one, cannot wait that long.