‘What a time to be alive’: Calgarians cheer as Canada qualifies for World Cup

Calgary’s soccer community was out in full force Sunday, cheering on Canada’s men’s soccer team as they ultimately punched their ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

With local players like Scott Kennedy and Samuel Adekugbe on the team, Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. is optimistic this era of Canadian soccer will not just be a blip in the history books.

“What a time to be alive if you’re in the game of football!” said Wheeldon Jr. during an appearance on CTV Morning Live. “On the back of the women winning the gold in the Olympics to now the men qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in 36 years, it’s a brilliant time to be involved in soccer in this country.

“It’s a brilliant time to be involved with this but it’s also even more special knowing that (in) 2026 there will be another opportunity to play at World Cup.”

Hundreds of Calgary minor soccer players and their families packed a conference room at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino to watch Canada take on Jamaica at BMO field in Toronto.  The Canadians claimed a decisive 4-0 victory breaking a 36-year qualifying drought.

“It’s a historic moment for Canadian soccer,” said Carlo Bruneau with the Calgary Minor Soccer Association.  “The enthusiasm for the beautiful game is unmatched.  We’re really proud of what our team did but what the community does to consistently and constantly support soccer here in Calgary and Alberta.”

Canada wraps up its world cup qualifiers on Wednesday against Panama.

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