World Cup Archive

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CSA continues to talk about 2026 World Cup bid: Why an early statement of intent is vital

Victor Montagliani

Victor Montagliani

The Canadian Soccer Association’s plan to bid for the 2026 World Cup isn’t exactly a secret. In fact, it’s been openly talked about since FIFA confirmed this country as the host of the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

CSA president Victor Montagliani continued the pattern this weekend, telling the CBC that all the ducks are being placed in a row for an official bid that will come in a couple of years time. (CLICK HERE)

This only echoes CSA General Secretary Peter Montopoli’s comments that he made to the media in Edmonton back in March, where he called the U-20 World Cup and Women’s World Cup the “building blocks” toward a 2026 World Cup bid. (CLICK HERE)

Montagliani and Montopoli are doing the right thing, revealing the CSA’s intentions well ahead of the actual bid process.

Of course, how seriously our bid will be received will depend on how well we do as hosts of the Women’s World Cup. But, by making no secret of Canada’s intentions, we’re the first country in CONCACAF to plant our flag. And that’s important. CONCACAF feels that this region will get the 2026 World Cup (CLICK HERE), especially after the American bid was rebuffed for Qatar 2022. Of course, that could mean there are American and/or Mexican bids to come, depending on how many billions of dollars or pesos their governments wish to spend (or not spend).

Canada is in a unique position. We share our first division with the United States — or, as the cynic would say, we have three Canadian teams in American first division. But, with an early statement of intent, the CSA can use that relationship to its favour.
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Webb: CONCACAF nation should host 2026 World Cup

Jeffrey Webb

Jeffrey Webb

If CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb gets his way, the 2026 World Cup will be played in the CONCACAF region.

Speaking in a press conference prior to the opening of the 2013 Gold Cup, Webb was asked about the potential of the tournament returning to the region for the first time since the United States hosted in 1994 with Webb admitting he’s already spoken to the heads of the Mexican and American federations as well as Victor Montagliani from the Canadian Soccer Association about such a possibility.

“It doesn’t matter — for me or one of the 41 members, whether it’s the United States, Mexico or Canada, I believe it is too important for us to host the World Cup in 2026,” Webb said emphatically. “And that will have been 32 years, which would have been the longest time since World War II that we have not hosted the World Cup as a confederation.”

The United States were runners up to Qatar for the rights to host the 2022 World Cup and Webb said the CONCACAF region were the biggest losers when FIFA decided to stop rotating the rights through the confederations after awarding 2014 to CONMEBOL and Brazil.

Naturally, the optimist would be delighted at the prospect of Canada hosting a World Cup but with a massive injection of money that would be required for stadium infrastructure and the high possibility of white-elephant venues at the conclusion of the tournament, it would be a tall ask for Canada to front a tournament by itself. But both Montagliani and CSA General Secretary Peter Montopoli have strongly hinted that Canada will have an all-in bid in place.
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Canada prepares the “building blocks” for World Cup 2026

fifa-logoA couple of days ago, Canadian Soccer Association General Secretary Peter Montopoli was at Edmonton’s City Hall and was asked about a possible bid for the 2026 World Cup.

Montopoli described the hosting of the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup and the 2015 Women’s World Cup as “building blocks” towards a bid for 2026; and, he noted that, in July of 2015, Canada can boast that it’s hosted all the major tournaments except for the biggest one of them all.

Montopoli was in Edmonton for the announcement of the city as the host of the opening ceremonies and first game of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, so he was right to feel bullish.

There’s no doubt that there is a section of FIFA voters who are enamoured with Canada; despite the fact we don’t have the on-field profile of CONCACAF neighbours Mexico and the United States, we offer stability and certainty, without the American bluster that seems to turn so many international voters off (see: IOC vote and Chicago, 2014 Olympics, U.S. World Cup bid, 2022).
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Celebrating Inside Soccer’s 100th issue with the Canadian men’s national team

Dale Mitchell, second from left, is mobbed by teammates after scoring a goal at the 1984 Olympics.

Dale Mitchell, second from left, is mobbed by teammates after scoring a goal at the 1984 Olympics.

The 100th issue of Inside Soccer is now available across Canada and, as has been the case over the last couple of years, I am glad to be a contributor to the magazine. Inside Soccer does a wonderful job of promoting the game across the country, and allowing avenues for soccer stories that don’t appear in other magazines.

As part of the 100th-issue celebration, I was tasked to find current and former members of the Canadian men’s national team, and to simply ask them to talk about their favourite moments in international football. Our article features Dwayne De Rosario, Terry Dunfield, Patrice Bernier, Paul Dolan, Nick De Santis, Bob Lenarduzzi and Greg Sutton.

As well, as part of the process, I got some tidbits from Carl Valentine, Dale Mitchell and Martin Nash. We have presented them here as a preview of the piece that you’ll find in the pages of the 100th issue Inside Soccer.
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U.S. confirms Houston friendly against Canada

For the second time in less than a year, the Canadian men’s national team will face the United States.

The United States Soccer Federation has confirmed that a Jan. 29 friendly between Canada and the U.S. has been booked for Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium. Canada has already committed to a Jan. 26 friendly against Denmark in Arizona.

“The match against Canada will come at the end of an important training camp as we get players ready for the World Cup qualifier against Honduras, and also get a good look at some up and coming players in the National Team pool,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in a release issued by the USSF. “Obviously we have a great history with Canada, and they were unlucky not to qualify for the final round. The stadium in Houston is awesome and the fans have been incredibly supportive there, so for us it’s a great way to start off the centennial year of U.S. Soccer.”
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Why the CSA should look to Mexico for the next national-team coach

Javier Aguirre… Should the CSA give him a call?

Today was a day of goodbyes for the Canadian national team.

A day after he announced his resignation, former coach Stephen Hart spoke with the media in a Friday conference call, basically saying that there was no way back after Tuesday’s 8-1 loss to Honduras, which ended the World Cup campaign with a national-team implosion.

And, midfielder Patrice Bernier announced that he is retiring from international soccer. The Montreal Impact midfielder will spend the rest of his thirtysomething years focused on his club career.

Bernier, who wasn’t used in Tuesday’s 8-1 loss to Honduras — the game which ended Canada’s World Cup qualifying hopes — is likely to be the first of many.

Truth is, this was, in soccer terms, a very experienced team. Some might even use the term, “old.” And many tough choices lay ahead.
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CONCACAF asks teams to commit to “fair play and reciprocal courtesy”

CONCACAF issued a release on Friday about the proposed schedule for the final Hex.

And there was a very interesting line in there. After the explanation that the round will go between Feb. 6 and Oct. 15, 2013, there was a warning of sorts.

“Members have emphasized their commitment to fair play and reciprocal courtesy among all federations.”

Interesting. In the wake of Panama’s national federation tweeting the location of the hotel in which the Canadian team was staying back in September, and with all of the intimidation tactics we see in Central America, this looks like a warning that maybe, just maybe, CONCACAF isn’t going to put up with nations who are poor hosts anymore.
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CSA accepts Stephen Hart’s resignation

Stephen Hart

The Canadian Soccer Association has accepted the resignation of men’s national-team coach Stephen Hart.

The writing was on the wall as soon as the final whistle sounded after Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying 8-1 loss to Honduras, which cost Canada the a place in the Hex. Hart said after the match that he was sure Canadian soccer supporters would never forgive him for what was one of the darkest days in the history of the national program.

CSA president Victor Montagliani said that he will look for the “best candidate” for the job, which means that the coach would need to know what it takes to go down to Central America and get results.
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Hart: I know fans will “never forgive me”

Stephen Hart: Takes the blame

There was so much optimism and hope that this could be the time, but instead it was simply 90 minutes of suffering.

Canada’s hopes of qualifying for the Hex weren’t just dashed, they were firebombed and nuked in the very same place it all officially came to an end four years ago.

The visitors had a few early chances but their back line—usually their strength—put on a simply shocking display as the hosts sent their fans home delirious with glee with an 8-1 thumping of Canada.

Jerry Bengtson had a hat-trick as the Hondurans kept their hopes of reaching their second straight World Cup alive while Canada is sent home with a lot of questions that need answering.

“You want desperately for Canada to do well,” said head coach Stephen Hart. “All I can do is ask the fans’ forgiveness on behalf of the players. I know they’ll never forgive me.”
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Cavallini gets the call for Canada’s do-or-die date in Honduras

Lucas Cavallini

Canadian forward Lucas Cavallini is on his way from Uruguay to meet the national team in Honduras.

Cavallini confirmed through his Twitter account that he has been called up by Canada senior men’s team coach Stephen Hart ahead of Tuesday’s do-or-die CONCACAF Group C finale against Honduras. Canada needs a win or a draw in Central America in order to qualify for the hex.

Cavallini, who was Canada’s best weapon at the U-23 Olympic qualifiers in Nashville this past spring, will fill a spot that opened after forward Olivier Occean received a controversial red card in Friday’s 3-0 win over Cuba.
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