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Canada’s Lack of Soccer Prowess

I was trying to cite my previous post and claim of 500,000 kids playing soccer when I came across this post on MetaFilter title Canada’s Lack of Soccer Prowess.

There are some interesting opinions in there and I wish the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) would start to address many of them. Even a cursory glance at the Google Trends for soccer-related searches demonstrate ‘s a large interest in soccer when compared to hockey. The interest in the world cup alone is larger than anything in the hockey world.

  • Perceived as a kids sport. Probably due to most municipalities not allowing adults to rent field time for soccer, especially in my area.
  • Lack of leagues. Is there a company team? What about a pub team?There’s also a lack of leagues; amateur and professional. As the Whitecaps move to MLS, who will fill in their slot in the USL — nobody. How do kids move from U18 to the Whitecaps and beyond?
  • Cultural status. Hockey may be perceived as the Canadian sport but isn’t this the media’s fault? How much soccer is shown on TV? When the Whitecaps do win, does it get as much attention as the Canucks? Then again only 3,000 people watch the Whitecaps — on a good day. I think the attendance record was smashed a year ago when the Whitecaps played India with around 6,000 people. There was the Beckham game but that was just a one off. Maybe we do need international players to draw the crowds.

But who is going to change this? The CSA? I just don’t think they’re interested.

As for Steve Nash mentioned in the article. It should be pointed out that although he had the talent to become a top class soccer player, his heart wasn’t in it. It wasn’t a lack of infrastructure, he just enjoyed basketball more but I don’t think anybody can say that the infrastructure in BC for basketball is any better than it is for soccer. Does Vancouver even have a professional basketball team?

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