Volume 93, Issue 79

Wednesday, March 1, 2000


Reaching the highest height

Wrestling fever hits hard

Queen's able to squeak by Western

Western silences Thunderwolves

The uphill battle is just beginning

The uphill battle is just beginning

Who ever would have thought we would see the day?

In this, the land of never-ending snow, hockey pucks and people often mistaken for Eskimos, who would have guessed a Canadian team could have won an international soccer championship? Are we entering the Twilight Zone?

The Canadian team, under newly adopted German coach Holger Osciek, has managed to do the impossible and has, in the process, raised a lot of eyebrows. We're a long away from 1986 when we barely made it to the World Cup, only to lose three games and not even score a goal.

However, as Canada prepares to join teams from around the world in the Confederations Cup, I think it's only fair that I cash in my euphoria over this unlikely victory in the Gold Cup. They beat Mexico, the 10th ranked team in the world (insert sigh of disbelief here).

So in celebration of this new rejuvenation of Canadian success, if it can be called that, here's my predictions for the future of Canadian soccer.

The Canadian team will go into the next tournament prepared to carry on their success. The other teams will be stunned as these Canucks out-manoeuver and outwit their opponents with inventive plays such as the Canuck Rush and the Canadian Hustle, all marketed in a nice package.

As pathetic as this may sound (not ignoring the fact that it's a lame attempt to be funny), this is what it's going to take for this team to get some real recognition – some inventive marketing and a truly global championship.

Soccer has had a hard go in Canada – there was the Canadian Soccer League about 10 years ago (who could forget the London Lasers?) but it's only now, six years after the World Cup was held on our very doorstep in the United Sates, that the sport has begun to take any real hold. The fact of the matter is, despite this recent performance, it will still be a long time before Canadian soccer is taken seriously at home and abroad.

No one thought we could have beaten Mexico and made it to the finals, but in all likelihood, Canada will get an early trouncing at the next tournament. At the very least, though, it'll be a good show and that's the one thing Canadian soccer boasts over almost all the professional sports out there.

If you've ever watched the movie Rocky, well, Canada is going to be Rocky at the Confederations Cup and who knows? Maybe a few of you out there might watch just long enough to see Canada pull off the truly impossible.

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