Home Global Game Europe Valencia friendly offers a major CanPL test for Regina

Valencia friendly offers a major CanPL test for Regina


A press conference has been scheduled for Tuesday morning in Regina, where it is expected that a friendly featuring Spanish side Valencia and a North American team (odds are on the New York Cosmos, as the July break in the NASL schedule offers a window for a team from that league to make the trip) will be announced.

The game will take place in July at Mosaic Stadium, and the rumours of this Valencia trip have been making the rounds in soccer circles across the prairies for the last couple of months.

Seeing Valencia playing in the heart of the Canadian prairies? Let’s see any other of the umpteen soccer friendlies that are going to be announced match this in terms of surrealism.

But, on a more serious note, this game is a major test for Regina (and greater Saskatchewan). This will act as a great measuring stick, to gauge the interest for pro soccer in the Saskatchewan capital. This is a Canadian Premier League test, people.

If Valencia can draw, if it can bring in fans from across the prairies (kinda like a Roughriders game does), then there is a case to be made that pro soccer can work here. But, if this goes south, this is gonna be the soccer version of the Fyre Festival.

Personally, I can’t wait to see this. Because of the setting, I have never looked forward to any European team coming to North America for a friendly more than this. I mean, would you rather watch the MLS All Stars play some Euro giant in a large U.S. city, or see a La Liga side make Regina its home base? I mean, it’s no contest, really. Spanish team in Saskatchewan, I mean, that sounds like a pilot for a CBC series, right? I see you, Paul Gross!

And if the Northern Pikes aren’t playing the national anthem, I’m gonna be ticked off.

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  1. italk2u

    May 10, 2017 at 11:58 am

    So, let me see if I got this right…the CSA books a soccer game in pointy-ball crazy Regina, Saskatchewan between a team from Spain and likely a team from New York City. Question! how many Spaniards live in Saskatchewan? For that matter how many Ex-pat New Yawkers live in Saskatchewan?
    “Not Many” would be the answer to that question.
    So why does the CSA book this game in an effort to find out if soccer is a go in Riderville. What incentive does the average Regina sports fan have, to come out and watch this game?
    Why would the CSA not bring in FCE to play a friendly instead?
    I can see Valencia as the competition, only because it is a world renowned “name” in soccer, but atleast with FCE playing instead, there would be a smidgeon of local interest from ex-pat Edmontonians and even ESG supporters to get out to the game.
    A Valencia/Cosmos friendly is no way to gauge the interest of the AVERAGE REGINA SPORTS FAN.
    Atleast having an Edmonton team in there would trigger some folks into coming out.

    • Steven Sandor

      May 10, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      My sources tell me FCE was indeed approached by Valencia, but the appearance fee was very high and there was little appetite from the FCE side to commit hundreds of thousands to a one-off game.

      I think we have to be clear that this is a Saskatchewan businessperson who is bringing the game to Canada, not the CSA.

  2. Kent

    May 9, 2017 at 7:27 am

    This is actually great. I agree with you that it’s great to have test matches like this. I have been hoping for national team games, but these Euro friendlies are a great idea too. Hopefully other places like Calgary, or even Winnipeg even though they are already confirmed for the CPL, can get games like these. Hopefully there will be a big crowd for this game!

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