In the second phase of 2014 World Cup qualifying (which we automatically qualified for, Ca-na-da! Ca-na-da!), Canada was drawn in what should be a fairly straight forward group to qualify from. St Kitts & Nevis, Puerto Rico and St Lucia stand in the way of Canada and qualification for the next round, where hopefully we'll play what is probably the easiest group we could have hoped for in Honduras, Cuba and probably Panama.
The second phase involves six games, three of them at home, which will all be held at BMO Field, and if you're a Toronto based soccer fan, there's really no excuse for not going to all these matches. Details for ticket purchases should be coming out soon. I've argued why you should go to Canada games before, and many other people (including myself, the guy talking about the 2000 Gold Cup) have argued the same thing much more eloquently, but that was for a friendly that didn't really mean anything, these games actually have a whole lot more meaning, and should be a a whole lot more fun.
You may not care that much about soccer, fair enough, you might not care about Toronto FC, again, that's fair enough, but you care about Canada right? Remember the olympics? Remember cheering for Canadians in all sorts of sports that you know full well you won't watch again until the next olympics? This is your chance to do that, live and in person.
Here's why you should go, first of all is that rare circumstance of Canada actually being an overwhelming favourite, there's a very good chance you could go to these games and revel in Canada crushing a minnow, plenty of goals, no pressure or tension, just 90 minutes of good times.
Secondly, If the worst comes to the worst, Canada might need a supportive home crowd to help it beat these teams. These are all games that mean something, they're not friendlies, they have serious repercussions for World Cup qualification, Canada needs you, be there!
Thirdly, at the Ecuador game back back on June 1st, there was a fantastic atmosphere in a very small area of BMO field, sections 112-114 were absolutely rocking. Hopefully that can be extended to take over the entire south end at the very least. Selfishly, I would love as many games as possible to be played in Toronto, hopefully you do too, and the more supportive of a crowd we can build, the more games will be played here, so come out to these games, and that will help bring more games to Toronto in the future.
Fourthly (if that's even a word) here's where it gets serious. Eventually, Canada will qualify for the World Cup. It probably won't be in 2014, It might be in 2018, I'm very much of the opinion that by 2022 onwards, with the help of all the new MLS clubs and their academies, Canada will regularly qualify for the World Cup. Whenever it happens, there is going to be a massive jump from casual Canadian sports fans onto the Team Canada bandwagon. When that happens, don't you want to be able to say you've been on that bandwagon since 2011? Of course you do, but there's more to it than that.
A more supportive home crowd now, will lead to better results, which will lead to a better FIFA ranking, which will lead to easier World Cup qualification groups in the future, which will lead to that eventual world cup qualification. YOU can make the difference, this isn't just your opportunity to jump on the bandwagon early, this is a call to arms, Canada needs people to help build the bandwagon. I don't know exactly when Canada will eventually qualify for the World Cup, but it starts now. It's stand on guard time, buy tickets, and go to the games.