The Fort McMurray Youth Soccer Association is expecting to see an upswing in interest thanks to the World Cup.
FIFA announced on Wednesday that Canada, USA, and Mexico would all feature games across their respective countries. Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal will be host cities.
Association President Will Gibson tells Mix News soccer has really been picking up steam across Fort McMurray and Canada for a while.
“There’s a lot of people who have come to the community who are from traditional football or soccer cultures and I think that’s reflected across the rest of the Country.”
This will be the second World Cup in Canada, following the women hosting in 2015.
Gibson says the previous tournament really helped inspire more kids to try out the sport.
“It’s an opportunity for them to see the best players in the world play the sport and unless you get up early to watch games in Europe on Saturday or Sunday, it’s tough.”
He adds the association is expecting to see a big rise in registration.
“I think there’s always an upswing during a world cup year but it’s even more pronounced when you have the events held locally.”
Right now, 675 kids are in the association.
2018 World Cup
It may be eight years until we host a game but soccer fans can still enjoy this year’s edition of world’s biggest tournament.
The World Cup in Russia starts on Thursday with the host Country taking on Saudi Arabia.
Fans will need to wake up pretty early in the morning to catch some of the games, however, you can still enjoy a cold beer while doing so.
The provincial government announced earlier this week they are extending the liquor service hours for the tournament.
One of the 32 countries competing will be crowned Champions of the World on July 15.