Canada Soccer

Canadian soccer timeline from 1983 to 1986

Posted on 27 May 2012 in Canadian Soccer Timeline

For the first time, Canada participated in the FIFA World Cup. Canada qualified after winning the 1985 CONCACAF Men's Championship. In the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers semi-final stage, Canada posted three wins and one draw to finish first in its group and advance to the next round. In the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers final round, Canada posted two wins and two draws to finish first ahead of Honduras and Costa Rica. Of the 15 CONCACAF teams that participated in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, only host Mexico and champion Canada qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.

At the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico, Canada lost its opening match 0:1 to European champion France, with the lone goal scored in the 79th minute. Said opposing coach Henri Michel, “you have to admire the Canadian resistance. I was surprised by the Canadian strength in the air and by the fact that they didn’t only defend, but also created good scoring opportunities.” Canada lost its next two matches 0:2 to Hungary and 0:2 to the Soviet Union.

Also in this era, Canada finished fifth at the Los Angeles 1984 Men's Olympic Football Tournament. Canada posted one win, one draw and one loss in the group phase to advance to the quarter-final stage. Canada then drew 1:1 with Brazil, but was eliminated after losing 2-4 on kicks from the penalty mark.

 

Canadian Soccer Heroes

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Ian Bridge

Centre Back | Victoria, BC

CONCACAF champion Ian Bridge represented Canada at both the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Tournament and the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. In all, he took part in three cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, even scoring a pair of goals in the CONCACAF final round in 1981. In 2003, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


John Catliff

Forward | Vancouver, BC

CONCACAF champion John Catliff took part in three cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. He scored four times in six matches in 1993. He also participated in the 1984 Olympic Tournament and was the hero of the 1990 Corona Three Nations Cup. He was a five-time champion in the Canadian Soccer League. In 2004, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Paul Dolan

Goalkeeper | Port Moody, BC

CONCACAF champion Paul Dolan represented Canada at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, getting the nod as Canada’s goalkeeper for the opening match against European champion France. In all, he took part in four cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers from 1985 to 1997. In 2004, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Gerry Gray

Midfielder | St. Catharines, ON

Gerry Gray represented Canada at both the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Tournament and the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He participated in two cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, although missed games in 1985 because of a leg injury. He also scored one goal at the Olympics. In 2001, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Paul James

Midfielder | Oakville, ON

CONCACAF champion Paul James represented Canada at both the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Tournament and the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He scored a big goal against Costa Rica in 1985 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Toronto. He was also a Challenge Trophy finalist in 1988. In 2003, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Bob Lenarduzzi

Full Back | Vancouver, BC

CONCACAF champion Bob Lenarduzzi represented Canada in three cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, culminating with an appearance at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He also represented Canada at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics and was a Soccer Bowl and Mita Cup champion at the pro level. In 2001, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Tino Lettieri

Goalkeeper | Montréal, QC

CONCACAF champion Tino Lettieri played in two of Canada’s three matches at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He was the lone player to represent Canada at both the Montréal 1976 and Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Football Tournaments. In 1983, he was the NASL’s North American Player of the Year. In 2001, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Colin Miller

Midfielder | Toronto, ON

Colin Miller represented Canada at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He went on to play in three cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers up through 1997, the final year of his international career. He won the Corona Three Nations Cup in 1990 and was Canada’s year-end leader in minutes played (888) in 1992. He became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005.


Dale Mitchell

Forward | Vancouver, BC

CONCACAF champion Dale Mitchell retired as Canada’s all-time goals leader, a record that stood 19 years before it was tied in 2011. Of his 19 “A” goals, nine of them were scored in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. He also scored goals in other competitions, including three at the 1984 Olympic Tournament. In 2002, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Randy Ragan

Midfielder | High Prairie, BC

CONCACAF champion Randy Ragan represented Canada at both the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Tournament and the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He was also part of Canada’s 1980-81 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers team, pushing Canada to within a goal of qualifying for Spain 1982. In 2002, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Randy Samuel

Centre Back| Richmond, BC

CONCACAF champion Randy Samuel remains Canada’s all-time leader in appearances in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (36), including those made in 1985 when Canada qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He later helped Canada win both the 1988 Sir Stanley Matthews Cup and 1990 Three Nations Cup. He became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006.


Branko Segota

Midfielder | Toronto, ON

Branko Segota represented Canada at both the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Tournament and the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. In 1978, he was Canada’s top goal scorer at the CONCACAF Men’s Youth Tournament, helping Canada qualify for a FIFA youth tournament for the first time. In 2002, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Mike Sweeney

Midfielder | Duncan, BC

CONCACAF champion Mike Sweeney was one of four players that helped Canada qualify for its first FIFA youth tournament in 1979 and then its first FIFA World Cup in 1986. An Olympian in 1984, he retired in 1993 as Canada’s all-time leader with 61 international “A” appearances. He became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame in 2002.


Carl Valentine

Winger

Carl Valentine became a CONCACAF champion in his international debut for Canada, the historic 2:1 over Honduras at King George V Park in St. John’s in 1985. Already a Soccer Bowl champion with the Vancouver Whitecaps, he went on to play in two more cycles of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. In 2003, he became an honoured member of The Soccer Hall of Fame.


Bruce Wilson

Left Back | Vancouver, BC

CONCACAF champion Bruce Wilson was Canada’s captain at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He not only set a national record by making 57 “A” appearances, but he also played in the 1984 Olympics. A Soccer Bowl champion in the NASL, he was a First or Second Team All-Star five times. In 2000, he was part of the inaugural class honoured by The Soccer Hall of Fame.

 




More Canadian Soccer History

Men's football : 1867-1912 | 1912-1945 | 1946-1954 | 1955-1958 | 1959-1970 | 1971-1974 | 1975-1978 | 1979-1982 | 1983-1986 | 1987-1990 | 1991-1994 | 1995-1998 | 1999-2002 | 2003-2006 | 2007-2010 | 2011-2014
Women's football : 1982-1992 | 1993-1996 | 1997-2000 | 2001-2004 | 2005-2008 | 2009-2012

 

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