On verge of World Cup berth, Brampton connection shines for team Canada

The Canadian men’s soccer team is on the verge of something special — snapping its 36-year World Cup drought.

Canada is about to play the 18th game in its qualifying campaign, and remains undefeated on top of CONCACAF’s standings, having posted wins over the favoured likes of Mexico, the United States, and Panama. With a win against Costa Rica on Thursday night, Canada will be going to Qatar, its first men’s World Cup since 1986.

The Greater Toronto Area is well-represented on the team, with 17 of 25 players having grown up here. Seven grew up in Brampton alone. So what is it about the city that is churning out soccer stars?

At least in part, it’s the coaching. Desmond Gardner, head coach with Brampton East Soccer, told CBC News that because so many of the parents in the area are passionate about soccer, they have some of the best coaches in the country.

“Many are from Europe and parts of the Americas and parts of Africa, so they really understand the game,” he said.

“Getting the right people to develop the players is an essential part of it, and a real key part of it.”

For more on Brampton’s soccer roots, watch this piece from CBC Toronto’s Greg Ross:

Team Canada’s Brampton connection

2 hours ago

Duration 2:18

With Canada’s men’s soccer team on the verge of its first World Cup berth in over three decades, CBC Toronto’s Greg Ross takes a look at the squad’s link to Brampton. 2:18

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