National team support building on and off the pitch
Posted on 14 June 2012 in Men's National Team
In the Canadian Soccer Association's centennial year, the momentum continues to build both on and off the pitch for Canada in the current cycle of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. After two more matches in its mission to qualify for Brazil 2014, Canada has seen that support at both at home and abroad in this 2012 calendar year. Several hundred Canadian fans recently traveled to Cuba to cheer for Canada last Friday 8 June while a pro-red Canadian crowd was out in full in full voice at BMO Field on Tuesday 12 June.
"The crowd was fantastic," said Canadian head coach Stephen Hart. "I really have to thank the fans. They were there (on Tuesday 12 June) to give us a push."
Canadian soccer fans can now continue to build on this momentum by purchasing individual tickets to the upcoming matches as of Thursday 14 June. Tickets to Canada's next two home matches in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers are available via ticketmaster.ca or by phone at 1.855.985.5000, with full information available on CanadaSoccer.com. Group discounts are available via firstname.lastname@example.org or 613.237.7678. At BMO Field in Toronto, Canada faces Panama on Friday 7 September and then Cuba on Friday 12 October.
Canada has four points after two matches, with four more matches to be played in September and October. On Friday 8 June, Canada opened the CONCACAF 3rd Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Qualifiers with an away 1:0 win over Cuba. Four nights later, Canada drew 0:0 at home with visiting Honduras in front of 16,132 fans at BMO Field in Toronto.
Since 2008, Canada's average attendance is 13,146 over 12 home matches, an increase of more than 40% over the previous historical average. The Tuesday 12 June match marked the sixth consecutive home match in which Canada drew more than 10,000 fans, a first in Association history. From 2008 to 2012, Canada has drawn 10,000 or more fans to 11 of its 12 home matches.
Canadian fans are not only supporting the team in the stands, but donning official gear in record numbers, too. The Canadian Soccer Association and its official supplier Umbro have reported that merchandise sales at BMO Field in 2012 have already increased nearly 40% compared to 2011. In fact, that trend has carried through all official Canadian Soccer Association merchandise sales across the country. Official Umbro gear is available at CanadaSoccer.
Announced on Thursday 14 June, Canada and Umbro reported that all 1,912 limited-edition Centennial blue Canada jerseys were sold out.
From the three groups of four teams in the 2012 CONCACAF 3rd Round for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Qualifiers, the top-two teams from each group will advance to the 2013 CONCACAF Final Round. All CONCACAF 3rd Round matches are played in June (8 and 12), September (7 and 11) and October (12 and 16). Canada faces Panama in Toronto on 7 September.
For full coverage of Canada's road to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, fans can follow all the news at CanadaSoccer.com. Fans are also encouraged to connect with Canada's national teams via twitter.com/CanadaSoccerEN, facebook.com/CanadaSoccer, flickr.com/canadasoccer, and youtube.com/CanadaSoccerTV.