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Today we found out that Canada will finish up World Cup qualifying with a final home match, not in Vancouver, but back in Toronto vs Jamaica.
Now, it’s still hard to believe that Canada is actually going to the World Cup. And while this remains an extremely exciting time for sports fans in this country, you can’t help but wish we were a bigger part of it here in BC.
A province that once densely populated the only other men’s national team to make it to the World Cup in 1986 couldn’t even manage to find its way its into the hosting rotation three decades later. And yes, it’s true, Canada’s team back then was made up of 13 BC boys, of the 22 that went. This included very familiar names like Lenarduzzi, Valentine, Dolan, Norman, and Colin Miller.
There’s a deep link with this province and soccer, period. We hosted the Women’s World Cup. And BC Place remains the largest modern viable soccer facility in the country. Don’t mention Commonwealth Stadium please.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know the reasons why Canada didn’t play here during World Cup qualifying. Travel within North America during the given window. Travel from Europe for Canada’s top players. And the strategy of “freezing out” the competition in Edmonton of course. But it’s still too bad.
All this happened on the watch of a head coach in John Herdman, who lives in the Lower Mainland! Home cooked meals couldn’t sway him though.
There is an opportunity to make good. Watch for Canada to make its way here in the summer or fall to play a friendly or two as it tunes up for the World Cup. The US, Mexico, heck, even South Korea or Japan are possibilities. Or Canada could play an unqualified team as well to sharpen its game.
CONCACAF Nations League makes its draw on April 4. It would be unthinkable that Canada does not make a visit to Vancouver for that.
There would be no better way to send this team off to the World Cup than a crowd of 45,500 cheering them on and reminding them who’ll they be playing for. Maybe not every star will be available for these matches, you’d hope Alphonso Davies would come for a 45-minute stint. But even if he doesn’t, those that showed up would remember it when they stepped on the pitch in Qatar.
This is Canada’s team, let all of Canada see them.
Today on S&P, a loaded show!
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— Sekeres and Price (@sekeresandprice) February 18, 2022
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