Canadian women’s soccer team gears up to make history in 2015
BY ANDREW DEWEY
The FIFA World Cup is one of—if not the—largest sporting events in the world. Countries from every continent (save Antarctica) compete for years in grueling qualification matches to narrow down the 196 countries to just 32.
In 2014, we experienced another incredible tournament full of highs and lows, and for a brief couple of weeks it brought the world together. In some ways it’s sad that the men’s tournament will not run again until 2018, but we won’t have to wait nearly that long for the next World Cup.
Canadian men have always struggled in soccer. Only once, in 1986, has the team ever qualified for the tournament, and Canada lost all three of its group stage matches without scoring a goal. Our women, however, are a whole other story.
As recently as 2003, they finished fourth in the World Cup, and in the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Canadian women lost a close match to the United States, which would have sent our women to the gold medal game. Instead they went on to win bronze against France, a major accomplishment for Canadian soccer.
The largely overlooked and completely under-appreciated FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) is coming again in 2015. Held in almost the same format as the men’s, the WWC is equally competitive and just as entertaining to watch—and we’ll be able to do so in person, because the 2015 tournament will be hosted on Canadian turf.
Host nations have historically had great success in the World Cup, and the WWC of 2015 looks to be no different. Canada was recently drawn into a group with China, New Zealand, and the Netherlands—one they should be able to comfortably advance out of. The thrill of the World Cup and its single-elimination format is that anything can happen; however, with players like Kadeisha Buchanan at the back, Erin McLeod in net, and legendary striker Christine Sinclair (Canada’s most capped player) up front, the team seems to have a chance at making history.
Though the men are not yet ready to compete at the highest level, Canadian women are right up there with the best soccer nations in the world. So be sure to get behind our girls and support the team in the coming months. With any luck, 2015 could be the year Canada first holds the title of World Cup Champions.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press