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Canada Embraces the World's Game
, June 21st, 2007 3:45PM

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Something strange is happening in Canada, writes Stephen Brunt of The Globe & Mail: the hockey-mad country has suddenly embraced the world game. Brunt remarks on how suddenly soccer has taken hold of the country. Toronto FC has already effectively sold out its entire inaugural MLS season, tickets to the U-20 World Cup at the same BMO Field are almost all gone, too, while the opening doubleheader at Montreal's 55,000-capacity Olympic Stadium have all also been snapped up. Brunt adds that news of TFC striker Danny Dichio's sprained ankle has practically become nationwide news.

And tonight, of course, the national team plays the United States in the Gold Cup semifinals. "Perhaps the country won't be holding its collective breath at the outcome," Brunt says, but at least the Canadian national team "is starting to show signs of life." South Africa 2010 -- why not?

In any event, it looks like soccer has beaten the naysayers in Canada: Toronto FC has drawn well in excess of the 10,000 fans many said it would be lucky to get, the stadium -- the beautiful BMO Field -- has not and will not become a white elephant, the U-20 tournament will not be a resounding failure (it already figures to be a resounding success) and finally, David Beckham, it turns out, is not washed up, anyway.

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