How Canada plans to be a football nation

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 19: Rafael De Souza #5 of Tigres UANL battles for the ball with Sebastian Giovinco #10 of Toronto FC during the first half of the 2018 Campeones Cup Final at BMO Field on September 19, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 19: Rafael De Souza #5 of Tigres UANL battles for the ball with Sebastian Giovinco #10 of Toronto FC during the first half of the 2018 Campeones Cup Final at BMO Field on September 19, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be co-hosted by Canada, the United States, and Mexico, and the Canadians have big plans.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be played in three countries for the first time in history.

There will be games in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

But Canada is not known as a football nation. The country doesn’t have its own football league, instead, its teams play in the Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States.

And that’s about to change, according to the unveiled 2019-2021 Strategic Plan released today.

“Canada Soccer’s new Strategic Plan continues the momentum for our sport and propels our Canada Soccer Nation on the path to maximize the unprecedented opportunity to develop, govern and grow the sport as we prepare to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™,” said Steven Reed, Canada Soccer president to the football association’s official website.

“The landscape for our sport has shifted with Canada Soccer leading the evolution of the sport in this country.”

“The Canada Soccer Nation: 2019-2021 Strategic Plan outlines our pathway to reach even greater heights in the years to come,” he added.

MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 17: Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich plays the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Allianz Arena on March 17, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Davies, in the best environment to learn

According to Canada national team coach Jonathan Herdman, the young footballer will become better after just six months with Bayern Munich.

“Success both on and off the pitch has established Canada Soccer as a leading soccer nation,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer general secretary.

“On the pitch, Canada became the first Canadian team sport in more than a century to reach the podium in back-to-back Olympic Summer Games.”

“Off the pitch, the record-setting FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 united the country from coast to coast with over 1.35 million spectators in attendance and over 45 million watching the final on television,” he continued.

“Securing the 2026 FIFA World Cup was a watershed moment for our nation and we now have an exciting eight-year runway to grow the game in our country.”