Soccer is a popular sport in Canada, with a huge following and a host of amateur and professional clubs. There are amateur, youth soccer, semi-professional, and major league soccer clubs. You can find tv programming listings for soccer in Canada at: http://www.tvsoccer.ca.
History of Soccer in Canada
The history of soccer begins in 1859 with a game between an Irish team and the St. George’s Society. Three years later a game was played in British Columbia, in the town of New Westminster. It was only in 1912 when The Dominion of Canada Football Association was established and the Canadian Soccer Association, acting as the government body, was founded in the same year. The soccer organization is responsible for overseeing amateur and professional championships.
In Canada, there are premier league clubs, United Soccer League clubs, North American Soccer League clubs, and Major League Soccer clubs. The two NASL clubs are Ottawa Fury FC and FC Edmonton. There are also League One Ontario clubs such as Oakville Blue Devils, North Missisauga SC, Master’s FA, FC London, Kingston Clippers, Durham United, and others. Major League Soccer clubs include Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and Toronto FC. Examples of Canadian League Soccer clubs include long-established and new clubs such as Serbian White Eagles, SC Waterloo Region, London City, and Kingston FC. There are also Pacific Coast and Major Indoor Soccer League clubs.
Canada’s National Team
The national soccer team participates in international championships and competitions and represents Canada. In 2015, the team won against Belize, Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Dominica and lost against Jamaica and Iceland. The current squad includes players from different countries and teams - Russell Teibert, Samuel Piette, Sam Adekugbe, Marcel de Jong, and Milan Borjan, to name a few. Tosaint Ricketts from Boluspor scored 12 while Atiba Hutchinson from Beşiktaş comes second with 6 goals. Recent call-ups include Daniel Stanese (Iceland), Luca Gasparotto (Belize), Kyle Bekker (Ghana), and others. Among the top scorers are Kevin McKenna (11 goals), Alex Bunbury (16 goals), and Dwayne De Rosario (22 goals). The team became champion in the 1984 CONCACAF Gold Cup and took 4th place in 1988 and 1981.
Canada also has a women’s national soccer team which participates in international competitions. The team made it to the quarterfinals in the 2008 Olympic women's soccer tournament. The women’s national soccer team is also an Olympic bronze medalist and CONCACAF champion.
The Canadian Soccer Association
The soccer association was established to host competitions, manage relations, and supervise and oversee games. The association is also tasked with preventing the infringement of decisions, directives, regulations, and statutes by the CSA, CONCACAF, and FIFA. Finally, the Canadian Soccer Association is responsible for overseeing, regulating, and promoting soccer across Canada. It is tasked with controlling development and youth programs as well. The association is run by a governing body that consists of 6 independent or appointed directors, 6 elected directors, a Vice President, and a President (the Board of Directors). The current President is Victor Montagliani. The association has hosted a number of competitions and tournaments such as the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015, the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and the 1987 FIFA U-16 World Championship. It will be hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup in 201 as well.
History of Futsal in Canada
Futsal is a relatively new sport in Canada which began in 1980 and has become popular among Canadians ever since.
What is Futsal
Fustal is a type of soccer game that is played indoors which was first played in 1930 in Uruguay. It is played by 2 teams, and each consists of 5 players. There are specific rules regarding free kicks, cards, fouls, number of players, time, the ball, length of the field, and so on. There are also rules regarding referees, corner kicks, goal clearance, kick-on, goalkeeper pass back restriction, goalkeepers, penalty kicks, and kicks from the second penalty mark. The present governing bodies are the Fédération Internationale de Football Association and the Asociación Mundial de Fútbol de Salón. FIFA has published a set of rules on the different versions of the game.
Leagues and History
The Toronto Futsal League entered its 6th consecutive season in 2015. It is tasked with providing facilities, competitions, development programs, training, and referees. The Ottawa Carleton Futsal League is a leader in the area and the oldest and largest league and boosts some 2,000 registered players. This is a non-for-profit organization which was founded in 1990 and managed to double its members by 1993 – 1994. The League also added youth divisions for young children aged 4 – 5 years. It was in 2006 – 2007 when the league began to expand and added women, youth, and coed divisions by registering youth, female, and male players. Its membership reached over 150 players. In 1999 – 2000, the League had 44 youth teams and 49 adult teams and a total of 1,116 players while in 2008 – 2009, there were 94 youth teams, 85 adult teams and a total of 1,950 players. Throughout the years, the Ottawa Carleton Futsal League has operated in elementary schools and high schools. Other fustal leagues across Canada include the Hamilton, Sudbury, Barry, and Hudson leagues, among others.
In 2012, the country qualified for the CONCACAF Championship which took place in Ciudad Guatemala. Group A included the teams of the United States, Panama, Guatemala, and Canada. Group B featured the teams of St. Kitts and Nevis, Mexico, Cuba, and Costa Rica.
Events and Tournaments
There is a host of events taking place, including tournaments, memorial tournaments, exhibition games, and others. One event with a huge popularity is the Bob Rathwell Memorial Futsal Tournament organized by the Ottawa Carleton Futsal League. Women’s teams and divisions U12 – U21s are welcome to join the tournament. The goal is to help teams prepare for different competitions and local championships. There are other events and tournaments such as the Toronto Invitational Futsal Tournament, the Futsal Canada National Tournament, and others. The Futsal Canada National Tournament, for example, is held on full-sized courts at the Queen's University ARC facility and features junior high school varsity, senior high school varsity, and men’s divisions. There is a women’s division as well. The championship organizers welcome special guests from abroad and Canada and feature cocktail and dinner networking events. 1st Futsal Sudbury Invitational is another event that features men’s and youth futsal tournaments and includes 8 teams and 4 divisions. Canada also participates in the Grand Prix Tournament but unfortunately lost all 6 games in Brazil. The Canadian team lost matches to the teams of Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Mozambique, and Ukraine. Argentina and Brazil, on the other hand, made it to the finals.