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Major League Soccer Expansion into Canada - InfoBarrel

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Major League Soccer Expansion into Canada

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0


    It has been several years since Major League Soccer has entered into Canadian territory. Toronto FC joined the professional soccer ranks in 2007, when they became Canada's first MLS team.  They have since been joined by the Vancouver White Caps as well as the Montreal Impact.

     The home of Toronto FC is BMO Field which was once a haven for soccer fans in the city, however, since it's expansion year, attendance has increasingly dropped as fans have vented their frustration with the lack of success of the team.  Vancouver, while only in it's second year of MLS play has done little better, but will finish ahead of Toronto in the standings as will the Montreel Impact, who are only in their first year of play. 

    The Montreal Impact have done well to satisfy their fanbase by bringing over some of Italy's biggest names including Alessandro Nesta as well as Marco Di Vaio.  The Impact look poised for success as they are currently engaged in a tight playoff battle. Canadian stars such as Patrice Bernier have only helped Montreal's success, as the 32-year-old was named MLS "Player of the Month" for August.

     The expansion of the MLS into Canada has also fostered the creation of a new tournament for the country's top clubs. The Nutrilite Canadian Championship is contested among the 3 Canadian MLS teams as well as FC Edmonton from the North American Soccer League. The Voyageurs Cup is awarded to the winner of the tournament as well as Canada's spot in the CONCACAF Champion's League. Toronto FC has won the tournament for the past 3 years.

     It is difficult to say whether the MLS has directly helped the development of Canadian soccer yet, however, when Canada hosted Panama in a World Cup Qualifier at BMO Field in Toronto, 18 000 strong were on hand to show their support for their country.  Soccer still has a ways to go before being able to rival hockey or any of the other "big 4" in this country, but with academies being built by MLS teams, and players being developed from a grass roots level, the game is well on it's way.



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