Canada to Play in Toronto again for WCQ's?

Over the course of the day a bit of a nothing story has trickled out and quickly proved to be something. I first came across the story on The11.ca. The story began with the Ontario Soccer Association sending a request to their member leagues asking that they not schedule matches on the same dates as the Men's World Cup Qualifiers. By planning on shutting down their leagues for the evenings of the games the OSA would be able to have a stronger member representation at the games.

For the last round of matches the OSA, as well as the CSA, worked hard to encourage clubs to attend Canada's games but they had a lot of issues as many of the teams they were targeting had games or practices scheduled for the same nights as the games. Now this would clear up more teams schedules and then allow more youth soccer players to attend.

Of course, this story does not confirm the location of the matches but rather is a very strong suggestion that the games will be taking place in Ontario. For people aware of the whole situation this really should not come as much of a surprise as Stade Saputo is not completed yet and BC Place is on the west coast and has a plastic field.

BMO was the ideal location last year and nothing has really changed since then. It remains the premier soccer specific stadium in Canada as well as being in a city that players seem to prefer. It certainly is a preference for players coming from Europe as it shaves three timezones off their travels which can be a very large difference. Toronto, as opposed to Vancouver, is also located in the same time zone as most of the locations of the away legs which again cuts down on the strain of travel.

In the end we will likely have to wait until Thursday for final word on where the games will be played as the CSA has yet to confirm anything but it is now looking more and more likely that Toronto will be given another chance to show that it can be a great home for the national team.

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