Toronto·Video

On verge of World Cup berth, Brampton connection shines for Canada

The Greater Toronto Area is well-represented on Canada's men's soccer team, with 17 of 25 players having grown up here. Seven grew up in Brampton alone. But what is it about the city that is churning out soccer stars?

Canada could head to its first men's World Cup since 1986

Members of the men’s national team celebrate after Canada’s 2-0 win against the United States in a World Cup qualifying match in Hamilton on Jan. 30. With another win Thursday, Canada will qualify for its first World Cup in decades. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The Canadian men's soccer team is on the verge of something special — snapping its 36-year World Cup drought.

Canada was undefeated going into the 18th game of its qualifying campaign against Costa Rica Thursday, and was on top of CONCACAF's standings, having posted wins over favoured teams like Mexico, the United States, and Panama. That's put Canada within striking distance of a trip to Qatar and its first men's World Cup since 1986 .

The Greater Toronto Area is well-represented on the team, with 17 of 25 players having grown up here. Seven grew up in Brampton alone. So what is it about the city that is churning out soccer stars?

At least in part, it's the coaching. Desmond Gardner, head coach with Brampton East Soccer, told CBC News that because so many of the parents in the area are passionate about soccer, they have some of the best coaches in the country.

"Many are from Europe and parts of the Americas and parts of Africa, so they really understand the game," he said.

"Getting the right people to develop the players is an essential part of it, and a real key part of it."

For more on Brampton's soccer roots, watch this piece from CBC Toronto's Greg Ross:

Team Canada's Brampton connection

3 months ago
Duration 2:18
With Canada's men's soccer team on the verge of its first World Cup berth in over three decades, CBC Toronto's Greg Ross takes a look at the squad's link to Brampton.

With files from Chris Jones and Greg Ross

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now