Canada Ready for More Women's Soccer

Professional women's soccer has had its struggles, but the potential is still there
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, December 27, 2012

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

If you live in Europe, it’s hard to even notice that women's soccer is being played at a professional level. And while there might be growth, the mainstream media coverage is almost non-existent even when the national teams play.

For this very reason, I have deep respect for the Canadian and American soccer community as the women's national teams are embraced and cheered on by both fans and media.

A big issue for women's soccer is that some people insist on comparing it to men's soccer, and then criticize it for being poorer and slower. But in many ways, men's and women's sports shouldn't be seen as the same sport, but as different interpretations. A women's game should be compared to other women's games, rather than men's games.

Until the Olympics last year, I had pretty much ignored the women's side of the sport. But following the tournament – with its peak being the semifinal between the US and Canada – I realized how entertaining and gripping the sport can be.

Women's soccer still has its fair share of issues with a lack of stable professional league in countries around the world, including the U.S., where leagues have tried and failed consistently. 

Canadian women's soccer has also faced issues, as its constantly been one step forward, two steps backwards with the Whitecaps Women and the Victoria Highlanders pulling out of the W-League, meaning that there are now less opportunities for female Canadian players.

But I still see a great potential in North America, as these countries seem to embrace women's soccer to a far greater extent than the rest of the world, especially Canada.

The Canadian fans and media showed at the Olympics that they are ready to get behind the women. Hopefully the NWSL will help the game in a way that will bring a team to the country. Eventually it might boost the grassroots to such an extent that we will see new Canadian teams in the W-League.

This will give the millions Canadian girls playing soccer more role models and show them that there is a venue for them to pursue their dreams. If this is achieved, it will not only help Canadian women's soccer, but Canadian soccer culture in general.

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.