Canada soccer team qualifying world cup

We went to the (first) Canada soccer match that made history in 2022

“At the clinching match that the Canadian Men’s National Team played in Toronto against Jamaica, everybody in the stadium felt like they were part of something unique and that we were all on the same journey.”

Let’s just start this article off by saying how lucky we are to be talking about things like football when Eastern Europe is still dealing with such a horrific situation. I’m wishing for dialogue and peace as fast as possible.

It’s April, which means Spring and a new season is upon us. March 2022 will forever be known as the month in which Canada qualified for the 2022 World Cup this winter.

Canada v Jamaica in Toronto, March 27. Photos by Paul Desbaillets
Canada v Jamaica in Toronto, March 27. Photos by Paul Desbaillets

One of the most exciting football events that I have experienced was the clinching match that the Canadian Men’s National Team played in Toronto against Jamaica. It is very hard to explain the vibe: the supporters, the media, the energy and fanfare that was on display that afternoon. Everybody in the stadium felt like they were part of something unique and that we were all on the same journey as this young Canadian team was about to make history.

The last time Canada appeared in the World Cup, it was Mexico 1986, where they finished bottom of the group without scoring a single goal (and I was only nine years old.) Today, Canada finished at the top of their group. They scored beautiful goals, exciting fans all over the world, while creating new football enthusiasts of all ages in our beautiful county.

Canada soccer, Montreal proud.
Canada soccer, Montreal proud.

April 1 was the World Cup draw for all the teams that have qualified to play in November. Canada will face Belgium, Morocco and Croatia in their group, and to be perfectly honest, I’m confident they’ll do well and will make it out of the group. (I’m putting it on paper now so we can reference this when it comes to fruition.)

Mexico and the United States have also qualified for the World Cup, which is good to see considering that, along with Canada, these North American nations will co-host the 2026 World Cup on this side of the globe.

The Canada Men's National Soccer Team clinches World Cup qualification.
The Canada Men’s National Soccer Team clinches World Cup qualification.

There are still a few teams to be named to World Cup 2022 groups and this is due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, so those teams will be determined sometime in June. Stay tuned.

On the European football front, the Premier League season in England kicked off again this past weekend and the race for top four is at an all-time high. One point separates Manchester City and Liverpool in the first and second spots on the table. The two teams will face each other on April 10, which should pretty much determine who will win the league.

But you never know with this crazy game.


The ongoing Chelsea FC saga continues. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has had ALL his assets frozen in the U.K., include Chelsea Football Club, which he had just put up for sale before that political move by the U.K. government that locked him out of everything. The club is on the block for a cool $3-billion.

Believe it or not, there seems to be many interested parties in purchasing the club. Groups from America, Europe and the Middle East have all come to the table and made their bids and proposals known.

It seems that the vetting process and evaluations of these proposals should be over by mid-April. Only then we’ll know who comes out on top. Whoever iwins the bid, Abramovich still has to sign off on the deal, even though the government is now involved and controls the assets belonging to him. Abramovich reiterates he simply wants what’s best for the club and that money from the sale will go directly to Ukrainians in need.

In North America, mid-March saw Mexican football club Cruz Azul eliminate CF Montreal from its champions league run in the quarterfinals at the Olympic Stadium. Montreal returns to regular season MLS action vs. Cincinnati on April 2 and away again April 9 vs. the New York Redbulls. Montreal’s first home game at Saputo Stadium will be April 16 against Vancouver.

The end of March also saw ex-Impact defender Gabriel Gervais named CFM’s new club president. During the same press conference where that announcement was made, owner Joey Saputo mentioned that the club’s “snowflake branding” from last year will be getting a makeover. The CFM name is here to stay but its logo will be altered again.  

That’s some month of March if you ask me. ■

This article was originally published in the April 2022 issue of Cult MTL.

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