An Interesting Year Ahead For Canadian Soccer

Multiple storylines involving Canadians set for MLS, NASL and the world
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, January 09, 2014

Made in Canada - coverage of the Canadian MLS, NASL & USL Clubs, CSL, PCSL, Canadian Championship & Canada National Teams

It has been awhile since a Canadian national or professional team kicked a ball, but as it turns out, the year didn’t need a lot of time to show that there are plenty of storylines to follow for Canadian soccer fans.

For Canada, the rebuilding continues. Rangers FC announced that defender Luca Gasparotto will join Canada for a previously announced camp in Florida this Sunday. While the Scottish third tier isn’t particularly sexy, Rangers are likely to be back in the Scottish top tier soon and will be vying for European soccer. If Luca can become a mainstay for Rangers, he could be playing good soccer for a quality team in a few, something that can only bode well for Canada.

No games have been announced yet in 2014 for Canada, but hopefully it will be the year that Canada gets a win again.

In Major League Soccer, Toronto FC is going to make it an interesting season, as it has brought in solid MLSers such as Justin Morrow and Jackson as will a new DP in Gilberto and most likely Jermaine Defoe – and who knows, perhaps Michael Bradley. These signings could mean less playing time for some of the Canadians on the team, especially Ashtone Morgan seems threatened by Justin Morrow, but even with less playing time, the Canadians would also benefit from being on a successful team.

While TFC is looking at a brighter future, question marks are hanging over the Whitecaps and the Impact as they start over with a new coach yet again, and it will be interesting to see what affect this has on the playoff hopes of the 2 teams. Both have been relatively successful so far in MLS, but whether they can be successful in spite of the instability will be a noteworthy story, along with how this affects the playing time of the teams’ Canadian players.

In the rest of MLS, Mark Watson, a Canadian soccer coach, started his first full season as the head coach of San Jose, while Frank Yallop, also Canadian, has the task of rebuilding Chicago.

Finally, Ottawa Fury will debut this year in the NASL. Another place in Canada for Canadians to play professional soccer in and for fans to experience is great news and I for one will be following the team and its Canadian coach Marc Dos Santos closely.

FC Edmonton comes off a season that saw the team win 3 times in the Spring and Fall season, respectively. As the 2012 season wasn’t impressive either, 2014 is a year where Colin Miller will need to make improvements.

Joining Miller and Marc Dos Santos in the NASL coaching ranks is former Impact and Whitecaps player Alen Marcina, who has taken over as the head coach of the San Antonio Scorpions. With his signing of Shaun Saiko from FC Edmonton if he can help the former U23 and U20 player to live up to his potential.

All in all, 2014 has all the ingredients for an interesting season for Canadian soccer. And if everything pans out the way fans want, we can perhaps even end up calling it a good year.

Henrik LONNE

Copenhagen Business School
Club Domestic:
AGF Aarhus
Club Foreign:
Toronto FC
Born and raised in Denmark, the US performance in the 2002 World Cup dragged Henrik into the world of North American soccer. Subsequent trips to Canada made him a Toronto FC fan from abroad. The passion he now has for MLS outshines most European leagues.