Canadian Soccer Association President Victor Montagliani believes that having an NWSL club north of the border isn’t just about developing domestic women players. He believes Canadian top-flight pro teams are about preserving a unique soccer culture in this country.
Montagliani was at Edmonton’s City Hall Monday, for the launch of the U-20 World Cup ticketing campaign. Edmonton is one of four host cities and, in 2015, will stage more Women’s World Cup games than any other Canadian centre.
“I think it’s important to have an NWSL team, because it allows us to keep our unique identity and culture, when it comes to football,” said Montagliani. “And that unique culture is important for the male and female game.”
But, if Canada is to have an NWSL team, where would it go? FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath has said that if his NASL men’s side was to break even, he’d consider throwing in for an NWSL side. The Eddies launched women’s programs in Calgary and Edmonton this fall.
Or, would it be better off in an MLS city, where it could dovetail with Toronto FC, the Whitecaps or the Impact?
Montagliani said he believes there is lots of room for Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver for a women’s pro team, but that the CSA would also back a venture in a non-MLS city.
“If you take a look at the NWSL right now, out of the Americans teams there, not all of them are in MLS markets. So, if it works for them, why wouldn’t it work in Canada? I don’t see it that way than an NWSL team has to be in the same city as an MLS team. What we want is committed, stable ownership, that ticks off all the boxes.”
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