If you have not heard of Canadian soccer player Alphonso Davies, let me remove that rock that you have been living under the past few years. His timeline of success has been terrific: he made his pro debut for the Vancouver Whitecaps at the age of fifteen and became a Major League Soccer all-star by the age of eighteen.
He was then transferred to world powerhouse F.C Bayern Munich for a previous MLS record fee of 13.5 million. Following this success, he went to become the Bundesliga rookie of the year and recently helped the German club win the most prestigious award in football being the UEFA champions league – all by the age of 19.
A soccer player myself, this is the childhood dream one can only fantasize about. The fact that Davies accomplished all this before he had the chance to celebrate it at the Blue Grotto is quite frankly absurd.
Davies has become the poster boy for Canadian Soccer and his success is leading the wave of how the sport is growing in the country. His Canadian citizenship has boosted the integrity of player development in Canada. More European teams are now taking chances on Canadian-born players.
A country that was once overlooked by scouts for their soccer players is quickly becoming the Wild West for soccer talent acquisition. Davies international reclaim is exactly what the sport needed as a way to boost awareness and viewership before Canada hosts the World Cup in 2026.
Canada will have the whole world watching as they are likely to have a buy into the competition for being one of the host countries.
They aim to perform well given the position and not throw away the opportunity to compete in the world’s biggest sporting event. Because of this, Canada soccer is looking to hit full stride by 2026.
Part of this plan includes the new professional soccer league (Canadian Premier League) which was formed in 2017.
With eight teams already playing in the league, rumours are circulating of adding another eight squads by 2026 for a total of 16 teams. More teams means more players.
Opportunities to go pro are there for the taking – which was apparent for Jan Pirretas, my teammate at TRU men’s soccer who was picked third overall in the 2019 U-Sports CPL draft.
He was given an opportunity to trial with the club and was, unfortunately, let go due to Covid-19 implications. However, this is just the beginning for young players to be given opportunities in the big leagues. There has been no better time for young Canadian soccer players.
It is exciting to see the clouds forming for a perfect storm that is sure to boost professional soccer in Canada. Davies is inspiring the next generation while creating opportunities for other top players to be discovered abroad. While the Canadian Premier League is continuing to add more teams to grow viewership and compete at the 2026 World Cup. All of this adds to the theme that it is exciting times for soccer fans in Canada.