Soccer in Canada
- There were approximately 2.7 Million registered Canadian Soccer players in 2006. That number has sure to have grown as it is one of the faster growing sports in the country. The sport was officially first played on Canadian soil in Toronto in 1876.
Links: Wikipedia Page with information on Soccer in Canada – Canadian Soccer players list from Wikipedia.org
Canada has 3 professional Soccer teams competing in the MLS (Major League Soccer) which is the best North American league with 18 teams.
- Montreal Impact – Official Website – Wikipedia Page
- The team was founded in 2010 owned by Joey Saputo who had founded a lower level team in the city back in 1993. The Impact played the 2011 season in the NASL before creating a team to play in the MLS under the same name for the 2012 season. Their home field Saputo stadium located beside Olympic Stadium is designed to be soccer specific and has a capacity of 20,521. The will also use Olympic Stadium to host events that demand a bigger capacity or if the weather creates the demand to host the game indoors. The Impact hold the record for the largest soccer attendance for a professional game played in Canada with 60,860 people packing Olympics Stadium May 12, 2012 to watch David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy battle the Impact.
- Toronto FC – Official Website – Wikipedia Page
- Toronto FC became the first Canadian MLS expansion team beginning play in 2007. The team is owned by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and plays at BMO field which is on the site of the Blue Jays and Argos former home Exhibition Stadium. When the team demands a higher seating capacity they move their games to the current home of the Blue Jays and Argos the Rogers Centre, also known as Skydome. BMO field holds 21,566 but is being expanded to 30,000 for Soccer. It is also being designed to be used for CFL football to host Toronto Argos home games. When the Rogers Centre is used for Soccer it holds 47,568.
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Official Website – Wikipedia Page
- The Vancouver Whitecaps FC who were originally the 86ers started play in the Canadian Soccer League in 1987 until moving to the American Professional Soccer League from 1993–1996, during their time in the USL from 1997–2009 they were renamed the Whitecaps for the 2001 season. the competed in the North American Soccer League for the 2010 season before becoming a MLS team in 2011. Their ownership group includes executives with computer and Internet companies Seagate and Yahoo, along with NBA star Steve Nash. The team currently plays out of BC Place with a reduced capacity of 21,000 with the upper levels covered on game day, the maximum capacity of the stadium is 55,000. They played their first MLS season at the temporary Empire Stadium which had a capacity of 27,528 and was also used by the CFL’s BC Lions during renovations of BC Place. Previous to their MLS days the team played at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby which only holds 5288 people.
Canada has 2 professional Soccer teams competing in the North American Soccer League which is a step below MLS and has 10 total teams.
- Ottawa Fury FC – Official Website – Wikipedia Page
- Founded in 2011 the Ottawa Fury FC didn’t begin play in the NASL until 2014, just before the the 24,000 seat TD Place Stadium was completed. The team started their first season at Keith Harris Stadium on the Carleton University campus. which holds 3044. The Fury are owned by the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group which also owns the co-tenant of TD Place Stadium the CFL’s Ottawa Red Blacks as well as the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s which play at TD Place Arena located under the the one grandstand of the Stadium.
- FC Edmonton – Official Website – Wikipedia Page
- FC Edmonton owned by Dave and Tom Fath began play in the 2011 season. They have competed in the NASL for their entire existence playing home games during their first season at the 3500 seat Foote Field on the University of Alberta Campus. The following season they moved to their current home the remodelled Clark Stadium which 5000 specatators. The team also hosts their annual Canadian Championship game at the home of the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos Commonwealth Stadium which holds 60,081.
Semi Professional Leagues
- Canadian Soccer League – Official Site – Wikipedia Page
- The Canadian Soccer League is a Semi Professional League located in Ontario which includes 12 teams in the first division and 11 teams in the second division. It has operated under various names since 1926 with the most recently named league starting in 2006 after being known as the Canadian Professional Soccer League since 1998.
- Men’s Team – The Canadian Men’s National team hasn’t been very competitive on the international stage over the years and as of October 2014 are ranked by FIFA at 122nd out of 209, their lowest position to date. They did have a highest ranking of 40th back in 1996 but have never been able to maintain a very high ranking. To view the teams rankings over the years and where they currently stand follow this link to their FIFA page. Their biggest success may be considered their victories at 2 CONCACAF tournaments in 1985 and 2000, while placing 3rd in both 2002 and 2007. They have won Gold at the Summer Olympics once, but that was 110 years ago in 1904, follow this link to visit the Wikipedia page on this victory. The also did win the 1990 North American Nations Cup which was hosted in Burnaby, BC, follow this link to the Wikipedia Page. In 1985, Canada won the George Kafaty Trophy for top CONCACAF nation during qualifying for their only World Cup which they placed 24th in during 1986.
- Women’s Team – The Canadian Women’s National team has been quite the opposite, being very competitive with the women currently holding down the 8th position out of 177 as of September 2014 in the FIFA world rankings. They have never ranked lower than 13th, which they have done several times and have ranked as high as 6th in March of 2011. The also nailed down a Bronze Medal at the 2012 Olympic games in London and were very close to challenging for Gold. To see where they currently stand follow this like to their FIFA page. The women are currently hosting the 2015 Women’s World Cup to view tournament info follow this link to the main page.