To say that it was loud at Commonwealth last Saturday would be a little bit of an understatement.
A stadium that was likened to a high school field with a "bush league track" by a Toronto reporter saw first hand 53,058 people pack into it for Canada's 1-0 win over China in their opening Women's World Cup match.
The crowd was on the edge of their seat for every single Canadian and Chinese chance in this match, with it all coming to a crescendo with Christine Sinclair's penalty kick in the 92nd minute that beat Wang Fei.
I've attended numerous CFL games, Team Canada men's, women's and U-20 team matches at Commonwealth but Thursday's match produced the loudest eruption of cheering by fans at that stadium. I had to chuckle a little bit because I thought to myself, "if this is how loud it gets for the opening match of a tournament, imagine what we could hear if Canada were to win a semi final match in front of these fans?"
Heck, even before the tournament kicked off the reception that Canada received at the Edmonton International Airport on arrival into the city was incredible with hundreds of fans waiting for the team at the arrivals gate.
What I also thought about the fans that was awesome was that they didn't all take off once the Canada-China game was over, quite a few fans stuck around for the Holland-New Zealand game which Holland took 1-0 thanks to a 33rd minute strike from Lieke Martens outside of the 18 yard box by, Edmonton has a large Dutch population and they made themselves known once that ball beat New Zealand's Erin Nayler.
The first day of the tournament wasn't just something that traditional soccer people were talking up either. Edmonton residents such as Edmonton Oilers Captain Andrew Ference was showing support for the team via twitter, the same for mayor Don Iveson who was been massive when it has come to showing support for any sporting event in this city. It's becoming very tough to find people that do not have even a slight passing interest in the Canadian team in the City of Champions.
Karina Leblanc has told the story before of how when he first became a member of the women's team back in 1998 there would be some games in which they'd be playing in front of less than 100 people, those games may as well have been played 100 years ago with the reception this team has received and just how much they matter from coast to coast.
We may not get the same crowd for both the Holland-China and the Canada-New Zealand games today due to the fact that the forecast calls for rain a crowd of 25 to 30 thousand fans will still be electric and will try hard to duplicate the atmosphere that was showcased during the first day of the tournament.
A Canadian win would secure their place in the round of 16 and would be a heck of a gift for the masses in Edmonton before they head off to finish up group play in Montreal against the Netherlands on June 15th.