Canada World Cup a Success? Looks That Way
On June 6, the world’s top rated soccer players arrived in Canada to compete in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. After three weeks of competitive matchups, the stakes are set for the quarter-final round of the tournament, where the last eight will compete to become the top four.
Among the quarter-finalists are the Canadians, who are the hosts of this year’s tournament. Backed by a swelling sense of national pride and sold out venues for each of their games in the competition, the Canadian women are three wins away from winning their first World Cup trophy.
The successful run of the Canadian team has helped deliver on expectations when the Canadian Soccer Association won the right to host the 2015 tournament. Canada invested millions of dollars renovating stadiums and preparing accommodations in the six cities where the World Cup plays—Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver.
However, the CSA anticipates a significant return on those investments. Over 1.5 million tickets were sold before the first game of the event, and as many as 1,200 jobs were created leading up to the World Cup. Volunteers across the country are logging thousands of hours to help ensure the tournament runs smoothly and financial experts anticipate a healthy economic impact for each of the six host cities when all is said and done.
Team captain Christine Sinclair, midfielder Ashley Lawrence and striker Josée Bélanger helped Canada advance to this stage of the tournament. Their next opponent is the English team, who fell to Canada 1-0 in a friendly game at the end of May when midfielder Sophie Schmidt connected for the game winning goal.
Vancouver will host the World Cup Final on July 5, and organizers anticipate a sold out event for the championship game. If Canada qualifies for the championship round, not only does the team have a realistic chance to win the World Cup trophy; victory can be claimed on home turf.