Canada & The 1986 World Cup

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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15 Responses

  1. A. Ruiz says:

    Well, theres also the Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact. They play in the USL and Montreal actually qualified for the the quarterfinals in the CONCACAF Champions League last year.They played Santos Laguna in front of 55,000 at home and won.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9lD153FUQs

  2. Wayne says:

    interesting article. I can’t add more about Canadian football, but I was in Vancouver recently and took in the Whitecaps-Miami game. In front of a sparse crowd (c6000, most likely due to a clash with the deciding Stanley Cup (Ice Hockey) game), the quality was roughly similar to League 1. Apart from a highly dubious second goal from the home team (2:50 in the clip below), the talking point was a clash between two Vancouver players towards the end. Fortunately footage is online, and the official Whitecaps video doesn’t shirk its responsibility to show what happened (forward to 7:40): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwvcOuAt7AI&feature=related
    (although the sound is distorted for some reason)

    Anyway, it was notable that the crowd was generally only motivated by the mascot, and the hardcore supporters were accommodated on a couple of benches behind one of the goals. Behind the other goal, a VIP area with tables and chairs laid out (at ground level) as if on a family patio, with BBQs catering to the needs of the mighty and powerful. On the whole, a very relaxed atmosphere, but not quite a frenzy.

  3. Martin says:

    “Anyway, it was notable that the crowd was generally only motivated by the mascot, and the hardcore supporters were accommodated on a couple of benches behind one of the goals. Behind the other goal, a VIP area with tables and chairs laid out (at ground level) as if on a family patio, with BBQs catering to the needs of the mighty and powerful. On the whole, a very relaxed atmosphere, but not quite a frenzy.”

    Sounds like Milton Keynes…

  4. A. Ruiz says:

    Well, that’s USL for you Wayne.

    Which is why they’re joining MLS in a few years and will try and replicate Toronto’s and Seattle’s success.

  5. Seybold says:

    Seattle’s former USL crowds didn’t compare favorably to Vancouver’s. The leap up to MSL has exponentially improved the quality here. Vancouver should have a similar leap in quality, especially since they’ll come with a national rivalry with Toronto and a regional rivalry with Seattle, the two best fan bases in the league.

  6. The Canadian “effort” in 2010 WCQ has to be looked at with a bit of suspicion — the team quit on a manager it didn’t want in the first place (’86 veteran Dale Mitchell) and never played anywhere near its capabilities. Canada was widely seen as, at worse, the third best team at the 2007 Gold Cup, playing under interim coach Stephen Hart.

    Hart’s back now and pounce again Canada is playing well (although the ’09 Gold Cup has to be put in full perspective. Most of the major CONCACAF powers have sent experimental teams). How well Canada does in three years time will be determined in a lot of ways by who it ends up hiring to manage (Hart is the players choice, but he may not want the job).

    The club game is growing at all levels and interest in watching sport is finally catching up with the massive interest there is in playing it (more kids play football in Canada than ice hockey…). That said, when it comes to performing in CONCACAF, Canada has always been an enigma — seemingly better than its results and never predictable (when you think the program is down and out it makes a deep run at the Gold Cup. When you think it’s about to make a breakthrough, it craps the bed).

    As a Canadian that has followed this team very closely since 1985, I believe the talent is there to make it back to the Finals. But, as a Canadian that has followed this team closely since 1985, I’ll believe they can make it when I’m standing in a stadium in Brazil listening to the national anthem being played…

  7. I would recommend watching archived CBC television footage of the story of the ’86 World Cup qualifiers. There is nothing more heartbreaking for the Canadian soccer fanatic than watching the national team paraded through Vancouver when no one showed up: http://archives.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/clips/13478/

  8. Todd says:

    We didn’t score in the 86 World Cup BUT WE HIT THE POST AGAINST THE SOVIET UNION!

    Having been at the Saputo Stadium in Montreal for Team Canada’s agonizing defeat at the hands of a capable Honduran team in WCQ, I am pleading with the gods of football to grant us victory on Saturday. We shall see.

    Thanks for the article and for the archived CBC footage!

  9. Todd,

    We hit to post against France. We just missed the goal against the USSR (on a Dale Mitchell free kick)

  10. Duane, the other CONCACAF teams may be experimental, but Canada is without some major players as well. I thought they did quite well, considering, but got rooked by the ref against Honduras. As I tell my boys, though, if you don’t score any goals you’re never going to win the game.

  11. Patrick says:

    I believe we actually hit the SEIKO sign rather than the post against the French in ’86 (it was a TV trick of the eye).

    There are good players in Canada but the problem is the structure of the game here. The best teams rarely play the best teams from other areas of the country and the emphasis on age and district rather than ability is what is really killing the sport. It is set up like ice hockey and many of the coaches have an ice hockey mentality. The director of Canadian football recommended that any good players from Canada should declare for another country due to the horrible set up and politics of Canadian football. (I have firsthand experince as my brother who is on trial for Sheffield Wednesday only has dreams of playing for Ireland).

    I’m afraid France ’86 appears to be an anomly and it will take a generation or two for Canada to make any sort of impact internationally.

  12. maurice bourne says:

    The U.S. league refused to release players for Canada e.g. Branko. Mulroney was having a snooze feast with Reagan at the time, but of course didn’t bother to ask @ where was F.I.F.A.????? That’s the big unanswerable question. Did our parttime postman get a game? Really good article about a really good team that beat Greece 2-0 in the run up.

  13. Joost Z says:

    Picking the USSR, France and Hungary out of the hat wasn’t bad luck at all; it gave Canada two dream opponents (European champions France and the USSR of Zavarov and Belanov) plus a decent Hungary. Whoever they had drawn for the World Cup, it would have made no difference in the end: 1st round elimination. Drawing two of the most skillful and exciting sides in the world was some way, therefore, to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event for Canada’s players.

    I still recall Randy Samuel playing for Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven in the mid- to late-eighties.

  14. Daniel V. says:

    My uncle igor vrablic was in the 1986 world cup with canada!

  1. May 26, 2010

    […] had plied their trade. The story of their qualification and their efforts in Mexico can be found here and […]

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