Can Canada’s new era of talent lead them to the 2022 World Cup?

Of all the stories leading up to the 2022 World Cup that have caused controversy in Qatar, Canada’s ability to qualify for the tournament may have been a small individual one.

However, for a country that has not qualified for a soccer event since 1986, and where the sport is growing in popularity at an astonishing rate, qualification will is a huge boost.

Happily, the Canucks, as they know them, are running their business in good fashion. After eight matches in the CONCACAF qualifying campaign, Canada leads the standings ahead of the US and Mexico. While they have more away games than they have at home, just a few more wins will ensure the Canadians land their first World Cup in 36 years.

About 44,000 people crammed into Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton to witness the Canucks’ 2-1 win over Mexico in November, and that crowd reflected the mood in the Alberta capital.

Home to the largest shopping mall in North America, Edmonton also plays host to River Valley Parks – 20 times the size of Central Park in New York – and Elk Island National Park – home to the largest terrestrial mammal on the continent, the wood bison. . The city is also home to one of the largest concentrated casino resorts in Canada, where players can enjoy a wide variety of slot machines and table games. while depositing and withdrawing money in various ways.

Things seem to be getting bigger in Edmonton, and if this is where the Canadian Football Association intends to establish its home ground here, the sport can only benefit as it enters an era of success. bold new.

Friends in high places


From Craig Forrest to Frank Yallop, Canadian football has produced players who have consistently played at the highest level over time, but this generation of stars is coming together to take the game to new heights in the country.

In Alphonso Davies, they have a world-renowned and world-class talent in their midst. Growing up in Edmonton, the speedy winger joined the Vancouver Whitecaps as a 16-year-old in 2016 and made his first-team debut just a few months later.

His electric performance on the left flank, where he was included in the 2018 MLS All-Star game, netted Davies a $22 million transfer for longtime German champions Bayern Munich.

Many wonder if this teenager will get good grades in Germany, but they will pay off pretty quickly. He scored his first goal for the club in that 2018/19 season and by the time 2019/20 got underway, Davies was a regular on the team, having been retrained at full-back. .

In that fateful campaign, Bayern won the Bundesliga and Champions League – Davies was the first Canadian to earn a winner’s medal in the competition.

Davies is a brilliant global soccer star and many Canadians are moving in that direction. Jonathan David was a key figure in France’s Ligue 1-winning Lille squad in 2020/21, Milan Borjan regularly featured in the Champions League and Europa League with Red Star Belgrade, and Cyle Larin is still scoring for the man. Turkey. Beşiktaş team.

Add to those global stars a handful of MLS stalwarts like Lucas Cavallini, Jonathan Osorio and Samuel Piette, and you have a recipe for a truly strong roster.

It is still something of a surprise that Canadians outperforming the United States and Mexico in CONCACAF qualify for World Cup, but it’s a testament to how far these players have come in the last few years.

Gold hunting


While Canadian football has nicely boiled below the surface over the past few years, it has CONCACAF Gold Cup in the summer that John Herdman’s team finally showed their class on the big stage.

They beat Martinique and Haiti in their opening two games with ease, as expected, and it was in the next opener that the Canadians really shone. Against the United States, the team that tends to have the upper hand over the years in the North American rivalry, Canada put on a stellar performance and were unlucky to lose a goal scored in the first 60 seconds. first of the match.

However, they progressed to the knockout stages and in the quarterfinals they beat Costa Rica – a team that had attended the World Cup just three years earlier.

The semi-final against Mexico was a big one, with 70,304 people flocking to NRG Stadium in Houston to watch the game. The nip-and-tuck competition came to life in the second period, with Tajon Buchanan canceling Orbelín Pineda’s opener for the Mexican.

The match looked like it was going to extra time, but then Héctor Herrera brilliantly scored a heartbreaking victory for Mexico in the ninth minute of extra time.

On another day, Canada may have reached its first Gold Cup final since the turn of the millennium, but even so, it took the lessons of that campaign and put them to good use. qualifying for the World Cup.


Draws against Honduras and the US in the opening qualifiers – Larin scored in both – followed by a handsome 3-0 win over El Salvador, and a quest for revenge in Mexico City saw the Canadian carry about a reliable 1-1 draw.

The stalemate with Jamaica was followed by resounding successes against Panama and Costa Rica, and any doubt Canada was ready for the top spot on November 16 – Larin’s double carried the Canucks to victory. 2-1 against Mexico in Edmonton.

If the Canadians can win two of the next three games against Honduras, the US and El Salvador, they will almost be able to book flights to Qatar in a year.

It is such a measure of the quality and confidence of Canadian football that only the most pessimistic individuals would bet on them achieving exactly that. Can Canada’s new era of talent lead them to the 2022 World Cup?


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