When you think of sports in the country of Canada, we aren’t even going to ask you what sport it is you think of: because the answer is hockey (and more specifically, ice hockey). They just seem to love every single element of it in the Great White North, and when you consider how much success they’ve had with it, who can really blame them?
The loyalty and devotion that they’ve shown to hockey over the years is inspiring, and the general hope is that it’ll eventually transition over into different sports – with soccer being a primary example of that. It isn’t going to happen overnight and it certainly isn’t going to be an easy process, but there are already pieces that have been put in place for this to work.
Exciting times ahead
As reported by Sportsnet, the Canadian Premier League is set to open its doors for the first time this weekend as those up in Canada are given the chance to experience and enjoy their very own top soccer division. Sure, it’s going to take a while before it really catches fire, but given the kind of commitment and dedication we’ve seen to the project thus far, it feels like there’s cause for excitement.
This follows in the footsteps of the MLS which, as we all know, serves as the premier form of soccer entertainment for North America right now. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there are only teams from the United States that are involved in the chaos that is the top division, with three Canadian teams also currently enjoying their time there.
Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps have all been able to thrive since entering into the MLS, and it really does feel like this is just the beginning. They’ve all had varying degrees of success and given the kind of investment that has been made into all three franchises, there’s no reason to believe that this can’t continue to expand long into the future.
Looking to the next generation
Beyond that, though, MLS Soccer has reported some other exciting news as the Canadian U17s squad is full to the brim with 18 academy players from the MLS. That’s an absolutely massive achievement, and again, we’re still in the infancy this stage and that’s both thrilling and terrifying (for the rest of the world) in equal measure.
We all know that one of the big end goals is going to be having a successful World Cup when North America hosts in 2026, and with that being just over seven years away, it feels like they’ve got a long time to prepare for that. Of course, putting on a great World Cup is one thing but actually sustaining the success is another, although you could argue the 1994 World Cup in the States was one of the primary factors behind the rise of the MLS in the first place. Long story short: it really does feel like this is a time to be excited if you’re a Canadian soccer fan.