When Canada's men's soccer squad was dubbed 'Team Hopeful'

It was a promising development for the future of young players when Canada's men's soccer team made it to the World Cup for the first time in 1986.

Public support seemed sparse for soccer players headed to World Cup in Mexico in 1986

Two mean seated in the back of a convertible car as three people look on from the sidewalk
Attendance was sparse in Vancouver at a parade in honour of Canada's men's soccer team before they headed off to the World Cup in Mexico. (The Journal/CBC Archives)

After a loss to Croatia on Sunday, Canada's men's soccer team will not qualify for the next round of competition at the World Cup in Qatar. But they've got one more chance to score on Thursday, when they're scheduled to play a match against Morocco.

The team already made history by scoring a single goal against Croatia — Canada's first in a men's World Cup tournament. It's a better result than the team's previous appearance in the World Cup tournament in 1986, when they scored zero goals in three games. 

Team Hopeful

A pivotal moment for Canadian soccer in 1986

37 years ago
Duration 6:00
Pro soccer in Canada gets a boost when the men's national team goes to the World Cup in Mexico, but the public is slow to embrace the game. Aired May 30, 1986 on CBC's The Journal.

It had been almost nine months since the team won the match in St. John's that clinched their spot in the World Cup. With the event set to begin the following day, CBC's The Journal aired reporter Jerry Thompson's documentary, Team Hopeful, on May 30, 1986. 

CBC Sports commentator Steve Armitage in front of a CBC mobile truck with old CBC logo in 1986
"I would call them Team Determination, Team Hopeful," said CBC Sports commentator Steve Armitage. (The Journal/CBC Archives)

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