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Vancouver Likely to Host Next Round of World Cup Qualifying in November

British Columbia hasn't hosted a men's national team game for more than a decade. But baring some unforeseen circumstances the first match of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying round 4 will be in Vancouver.

Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports

A day before Canada kick off round 3 of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the team isn't looking past Belize. Off the field, however, the national team is looking for a new home should they best their opponent in the two leg quarterfinal stage of qualifying for Russia 2018.

BMO Field, the near exclusive home of national team games since World Cup qualifying for South Africa 2010, is under phase two of construction in November. That is when round 4 is set to kick off, with Canada playing one of Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador or Curacao at home.

While nothing is officially in place, Waking the Red has learned that Canada is close to confirming that the November match will be played in Vancouver. No venue was mentioned although BC Place, the home of the Canada 2015 final, would almost certainly play host.

Montreal was another possible venue, considering the fact that Saputo Stadium has real grass as opposed to the artificial turf in Vancouver. However, Montreal has rarely provided Canada with a home atmosphere, something infamously lacking during a South Africa 2010 World Cup qualifier against Honduras.

The first match of round 4 could be played as early as November 13 according to FIFA, as the November international window extends between the 9 and 17 of the month.

The national team is also considering having a short camp and friendly in October, but scheduling would be difficult with U-23 team playing crucial Olympic qualifiers during that time. Should a friendly be played in the October window, however, it would almost certainly be outside of Canada.

Canadian supporters have long been urging the national team to move matches outside of Toronto, which hosted all three of Canada's 2012 World Cup qualifying round 4 home games. The CSA has been looking for a new venue to play this match since at least April when they found out it would be unavailable.

Vancouver has played host to the Women's national team several times as of late. Besides hosting two Canadian women's national team matches at the 2015 World Cup, it also played host to their successful Olympic qualifying campaign for London in 2012.

The attendance was strong for those matches, twice breaking attendance records for any national team in any sport during the round of 16 and quarterfinal games for Canada against Switzerland and England respectively. Even for Olympic qualifiers the stadium drew crowds of over 20,000 twice for the Semi-finals and Final of that tournament.

The last time the men's national team played a World Cup qualifier in Vancouver it was in 2004 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby. Canada lost 3-1 to Costa Rica on that day in the third round of qualification. Dwayne De Rosario had the lone goal.

Canada are guaranteed three home matches should they reach round 4 of qualifying, and the venues for the other two are not known. However, with the renovations of BMO Field likely to extend in May and potentially beyond the national team will still be looking for a new home.