After the Canadian Women’s National Team’s historic triumph at the Olympics, the push for domestic women’s soccer in Canada is stronger than ever.
On the latest episode of Waking the Red Weekly presented by Footy Talks, hosts Micheal Singh and Jeffery P Nesker discussed the two likely ways this could happen - either the formation of a new Canadian women’s league or the creation of Canadian franchises for the NWSL.
For Jeff, a canadian NWSL side is the practical and do-able option:
I’m firmly on the side of an NWSL squad. We’ve proven the concept; NWSL to the major Canadian markets, which would be Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto; built-in infrastructure; NWSL has existing partnerships with media and broadcast.
The cost of entry is relatively cheap. You’re looking at another MLS model where the franchise value rises exponentially - so it is a sound investment. I
I just see too many issues with this idea of starting from scratch with a brand new pan-Canadian women’s league at this juncture. I think it’s a hell of a lot to chew, and to me the NWSL is the answer.
"It's not just this Olympics. Whenever we go to a Canadian women's national team match, that stadium has been more sold out than the men's national games." @MichaelSingh94 on what's next for Canada women's soccer @CANWNT #CANWNT #WTRWeekly @WakingtheRed pic.twitter.com/Ehsn3IuYIk— Footy Talks (@FootyTalksLive) August 11, 2021
For Michael Singh, domestic women’s soccer in Canada is long overdue, bearing in mind the long standing popularity of the women’s nation team:
Regardless of whether it’s an NWSL team or a Canadian women’s professional league, we’re going to see something in the near future. I do believe that Canada is more than capable of sustaining a women’s professional league.
There is similar infrastructure in place - obviously we look at the Canadian Premier League. We can even look at the League One Women’s league here in Ontario.
Also, just think about the support that this Women’s National Team has gotten - not just this year but over the years. It was the most watched event of the Olympics in Canada - not just Olympic soccer but the entire Olympic games.
And you know what? It’s not just this Olympics, this isn’t just some revelation. Whenever we go to a Canadian Women’s National Team match, that stadium has been more sold out than the Men’s National Team games.
It’s such an untapped market right now, and I think regardless of which way they decide to go - whether that is an NWSL team or a full on Canadian women’s professional league - it’s going to succeed.
I’ll give a quick shout out to Jozy Altidore there on twitter. We all saw his post on bringing the NWSL to Toronto soon - rocking that NWSL shirt.
In the photo he tagged a lot of high profile individuals that would be in support of bringing that NWSL team to Toronto. So I think that maybe there’s something out there that he knows and we don’t...
Jeff also pointed out that increased visibility provided by Olympics could dovetail with existing MLS infrastructure to bring about a Women’s TFC side sooner rather than later:
Right now, you strike while the iron is hot. I know that that sounds insane considering this has been such a slow burn, but 4.4 million eyeballs is going to turn a lot of heads. A gold medal performance is going to turn a lot of heads.
Things that maybe would have taken six or seven months to get a response are now going to happen right away. So I agree with you - there’s motivation now, there’s an audience now, the time is right for someone to jump in.
The NWSL option is about as close to a plug and play option you can get. In a way that even TFC wasn’t, right? TFC was incumbent upon building BMO Field - well, we have BMO Field now, we’ve got the infrastructure. There’s staff at MLSE that could easily double down on a TFC women’s team.
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