Neighbors to the north | There’s more than tundra up there

Among women, Vancouver Whitecaps, London Gryphons, Ottawa Fury, Sudbury Canadians, and the Toronto Lady Lynx represent Canada in the semi-pro W-League, another primarily U.S. venture. Many of Canada’s best women players, moreover, such as Christine Sinclair at the University of Portland, receive their training at American colleges. “Growing up the way I did and in Canada the way it is there are a lot of people that move, like my family, from other countries,” Hargreaves says. “So there are a lot of South American families there. There’s interest in football from I think the parents, so [for] the teenagers there are no possibilities, there are no leagues.”

At the international level, the senior women’s team continues to show progress while the men—who last qualified for the World Cup finals in 1986—slip in FIFA rankings. Further, the U-19 women’s team barely lost to the USA in the final of the 2002 FIFA championship before 47,000 in Edmonton, Alberta. M. Ann Hall, in her treatment of Canadian women’s soccer in Soccer, Women, Sexual Liberation (Frank Cass, 2004), mentions, too, the striking figure of 33,000 adult women playing the game. A strong adult women’s competition exists even in Whitehorse, Yukon, where the First Nation Community recreation consultant, Charly Kelly, has a soccer-ball tattoo on her foot. Her six closest soccer friends, according to Hall, bear the same identifying marker.

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1 comment on this post.
  1. James McNally:

    Canada’s own (American/Canadian) football league flounders when compared with the NFL. Only when Canadian clubs can play against serious opposition will there be any serious interest. I’m looking forward to the MLS expansion, but even so, there may not be enough of an audience, with everyone glued to Italian and English football on their televisions.

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