LES ROUGES REPORT: An Occasional Update on Canadian Soccer


An Occasional Update on Canadian Soccer


Canada will not attempt to host the World Cup until at least 2034, according to the Canadian Soccer Association.

“Canada has great organizational ability to host a FIFA men’s World Cup, as it has for a Summer Olympics and two Winter Olympics, so certainly, from a Canadian perspective, we would be great hosts for a men’s World Cup,” said the CSA’s general secretary Peter Montopoli, who cited a number of concerns that would have to be addressed before the tournament could be even considered, including the proper time frame. “We would have to wait for our turn,”

The United States has put in a bid for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup and, if successful, the tournament would not likely return to North America for decades.

Montopoli also stated finance, infrastructure and national team performance as key areas that would have to be improved upon.

Stadium requirements would also have to be met, and the CSA would need a minimum of 10 world-class facilities capable of holding 50,000 in place just to begin the attempt at wooing the world’s biggest tournament. The stadium issue alone will cost Canada Billions of dollars..

Montopoli, said that Canada had only brief talks with the United States regarding potentially co-hosting a men’s World Cup.

“[The United States] have 10 stadiums alone in the state of California that they could hold this tournament in.”

Canadian interest in the World Cup and the underachieving Canadian National team cannot be questioned.

A recent Ipsos-Reid poll claims that 78% of Canadians believe it is important for Canada to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and over 80% would support Canada at the event.

Canada’s ability to host a massive tournament is also beyond doubt. Having hosted a summer Olympics and two successful Winter Olympics, the nation knows how to manage a big tournament and embrace visiting nations, while still representing their nation proudly.

By all accounts, Canada did an incredible job of hosting the 2007 U20 World Cup which is still the most attended FIFA event outside of the World Cup itself. There are more Canadians playing soccer in the nations than any other sport, including ice hockey, according to Montopoli.

Montopoli also indicated that Canada is in the running to host the 2015 Women’s World Cup, after finishing second to Germany in a bid to host the 2011 tournament.

“We’ve had great discussions so far with FIFA”

Montreal soccer legend Sandro Grande addressed the difficulty of Canada hosting the World Cup.

“I seriously hope that they do,” Grande, now playing in Lithuania, told the Globe and Mail. “The thing is, we don’t have the facilities in Canada, that’s the problem right now. There’s a long way to go.”

Grande believes the exposure to the game Canadian kids will get from three Major League Soccer teams will increase interest as well as the Canadian player pool.

“Why do they do it with hockey? It’s because they see the NHL and they think, ‘Wow, we can make something of this, we can get there,’ The mentality is totally different.”

To develop its youth, the Canadian Soccer Association has started to introduce a long-term plan to better educate coaches, players and volunteers across a number of age groups.


Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber credited Toronto FC’s success in winning over the Canadian corporate community as a key component in the league’s choice to award Vancouver and Montreal franchises.

“One of the things that has helped expand Major League Soccer’s influence throughout Canada has been the corporate community,” Garber said at an event for TFC’s Corporate Partners at the new Real Sports Bar and Grill in Maple Leaf Square. “You can see how important this team is for BMO and for other partners. We were able to use that model and take it to Montreal and Vancouver and really show that this is a sport that can deliver value to corporations.”

Garber lauded the Red’s sponsorship deal with BMO which included stadium naming rights and jersey sponsorship. “TFC’s new deal with Bank of Montreal is one of the largest deals in sports for its type and it something we are very proud of,” the commissioner said of the deal, which was recently extended through until 2016. “It is a great partnership and it has set the stage for so many other partnerships with so many corporations that get value through their the association and continue to push the envelope with great promotions, great advertisements and merchandising activities that extend what we do.”

“Toronto FC is one of the great banner franchises in Major League Soccer so any time I have the opportunity to come up to Toronto and support MLSE it is a pleasure and honor to do that. The corporate community is such an important part of our business and helping to build soccer in Canada. This sport has always resonated with the corporate community in a broad sense but now it is really resonating Major League Soccer.”


Newly promoted Premier League side Newcastle United are pursuing Canadian born Jonathan De Guzman, according to English paper The Sun.

The out of contract 22-year-old scored 23 goals in 109 appearances for Dutch powerhouse Feyenoord during his 5 years with the club. The Scarborough Ontario native had suffered through two injury plagued seasons at the Rotterdam club he has played for since he was 14.

The versatile midfielder, who can play the attacking role, on the right side and was even used up front for Feyenoord, has played several times for the Netherlands at the youth level but has yet to play for the senior national team, and could still play for Canada.


Professional soccer is growing by leaps and bounds in Canada. Toronto FC is a success in Major League Soccer, Vancouver and Montreal are soon to follow in the continents top-flight domestic league, and now newly-established FC Edmonton will is set to enter the North American Soccer League.

The next steps in professional soccer in Canada may be taking shape in Southern Ontario. Bob Young, owner of the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, is putting $74 million on the table for a new stadium that will not only house the CFL team but a new professional soccer club to Hamilton.

Young owns the Carolina Railhawks of the North American Soccer league and has the territorial rights to Hamilton for that league.

The only catch is that Young wants the stadium built in a different location than the municipal leaders.

The planned 26,000 seat stadium, to be built for the 2015 Pan-American Games, will replace the 80-year-old 30,000 seat Ivor Wynne Stadium, but community leaders want the new stadium to be built in a downtown location.

Young sees that as a detriment to the future success of the CFL team.

Civic disagreement in regards to stadium construction is viewed as a key factor in Ottawa’s unsuccessful bid to bring a major League Soccer to the Canadian capital.

Time is a factor as both sides agree that delay could cause the Pan-Am games to move the stadium concept to a different city.

A report released earlier this week prepared by provincial conciliator Michael Fenn, who was agreed upon as an arbitrator in the matter by both sides, suggested a common ground on a site south-east of downtown Hamilton, now it is left for the two sides to agree on it.

“Success in any business undertaking is the sum total of everyone doing their part. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are prepared to do their part and more,” Young said in a letter sent this week to Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger and city councillors.

“As you know, I am involved in the business of professional soccer through the NASL and the Carolina Railhawks Soccer team.” Young’s letter continues. “It is our view there is a great deal of synergy for combined football and soccer organizations. As such, we have secured franchise right for Hamilton with the North American Soccer League.” Young included a letter from the North American Soccer League’s Finance Committee Chairman F. Selby Wellman in his submission to the Hamilton Mayor.

“Working together, I am confident that we can bring the appropriate level of professional soccer to Hamilton. Purchasing and establishing a new professional team in Hamilton will require an investment of greater than $5,000,000.00 over its first few years of operations.”

Young’s proposal includes $15-million for construction costs, $3-million to cover operating costs per-annum over a 10-year span. Young also offers to operate the venue over the same period and his plan also includes $14-million to bring two Grey Cup Championships matches to the venue “as soon as possible.”

Eisenberger was unavailable for comment, but he is expected to respond to the report today. It’s not clear how the city will react, since its preferred location remains downtown.

“We feel very strongly that there’s a compromise solution to be had,” Ti-Cats president Scott Mitchell told the Globe and Mail on Tuesday “I’d be very worried [about the stadium’s future] if a compromise solution wasn’t come to very quickly.”

Hamilton, with a population of 500,000, ranks 9th in Canada, but over 3 million live within a 50 mile drive of the proposed stadium.

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2 Responses to “LES ROUGES REPORT: An Occasional Update on Canadian Soccer”



  2. endüstriyel mutfak Says:

    Civic disagreement in regards to stadium construction is viewed as a key factor in Ottawa’s unsuccessful bid to bring a major League Soccer to the Canadian capital.

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