Does Club Football Have a Stronger Future in Canada?
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Jim Brennan from MLSNET.com
While the Canadian National Team has been eliminated from securing its first World Cup qualification since 1986, this has been an otherwise banner year in Canadian Soccer. Toronto FC has been a few terrible (and dare I say blatant) officials calls away from making the MLS playoffs as a second year franchise. The Thunder Bay Chill became the first Canadian champions of the PDL by upsetting Laredo in the finals. Vancouver has won yet another USL title, and Montreal currently has the most points of any CONCACAF Champions League participant.
With Canadian fortunes so clearly on the upswing, while club football in the United States is quite honestly stagnant in quality (in other words MLS and USL have gotten a boost from their Canadian sides to claim the leagues are actually improving in standard) should Canada become the focus of any future MLS expansion? Will this be tolerated by FIFA and the USSF? Does football have a stronger future north of the border as a spectator sport than in the peculiar sporting culture of the United States?