Canada’s rise in the soccer world, first the gold medal winning women at the Tokyo Olympics and now the men’s team looking like it might qualify for the 2022 world cup of soccer – so far undefeated in the qualifiers, show Canada as a possible soccer hot spot. How exactly have we gotten this far?
North America has long been a soccer wasteland. Which isn’t that surprising when you realize that North America is a hotbed for sports such as basketball, hockey, football and baseball. It’s exhausting being the best in the world in so many sports. Soccer just fell by the wayside.
But why is Canada improving at soccer and America more or less staying the same? And is it here to stay or is soccer just the sport of the moment?
Canada is playing the long game. We have large immigration numbers from the soccer hotbeds. But we’ve had this for years. Why is it only happening now that men’s soccer is getting good? Well right now it is the players. Formerly, good players that immigrated to Canada would have dual citizenship and would play for the better soccer country. Canada overwhelmingly lost these players, event after event. So for the men, we haven’t qualified for the world cup of soccer since 1986.
Now, many of those players have decided to play for Canada, especially since the world cup of soccer 2026 is coming up and Canada has a guaranteed berth as a co host of such an event. For 2022’s world cup of soccer, I think some players just wanted to stake their claim early for 2026. So we have a really good men’s team that might make it onto the world stage.
But won’t Canada just lose these dual citizens after 2026? If we do it would likely be only if team Canada does poorly. Which is still possible.
However with our immigration strategy being what it is, we are also giving homes to trainers and coaches and other people crucial to developing good soccer programs. I think they would like to carry on in their winning ways here in Canada.
So our native players will get better, too, with all the good coaching and training all around them. And with good players resulting in more good players we should have good soccer for quite awhile.
It’s too early to say for sure but Canada may become the top place for soccer in North America in the coming years.
For years we’ve had the avid fandom of all those immigrants. Living in multicultural Toronto for many years, it didn’t matter how obscure the country that won in the world cup of soccer was, they would have supporters driving around honking their horns and waving their flags. The fandom was there and will be there for a long time. To do well at any sport, you need fans. And there are many fans all across the country that would support any Canadian drive to the world cup of soccer.
Immigration can also be used to increase other traits in the world that we might admire but do not have. For instance, I believe Canada is eating less meat per capita because that is a trait of the rest of the world. Just don’t tell the meat council of this. Or else they’ll force all immigrants to be Texans. And we cannot handle all the bullets flying around that Texans may bring.