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Surging optimism as Canada continues to shock the soccer world at Copa America



Surging optimism as Canada continues to shock the soccer world at Copa America

A 2-nil semi-final loss to Argentina dashed Canada’s hopes of reaching the championship game at the Copa America Tournament, but getting this far and having a surprising level of success was a major breakthrough.

“I am really happy with the team and really happy with the progress,” said Canada Head Coach Jesse Marsch.

At a soccer skills camp in Cole Harbour, N.S., men’s soccer was a main topic of conversation.

“It is awesome,” said St. Francis Xavier University women’s soccer player Rylin Matheson. “You can hear this buzz around Canada right now for men’s soccer, which we haven’t really had.”

Tim Schwager, a 17-year-old soccer player, sees Canada’s success at Copa America as an opportunity to grow soccer at all levels across the country.

“I think it’s showing the kids that soccer is not just European sport,” said Schwager.

Canada entered the tournament ranked 48th. They will now play in the third place game on Saturday and this means a big money haul for the team.

By reaching Tuesday’s semi-final at the Copa America Tournament, Canada has already pulled in US$4 million in prize money. They will add an additional US$4 million or US$5 million based on the outcome of Saturday’s match.

A Canadian soccer official told CTV News that money will go to player compensation, tournament expenses, deficit reduction and overall programming across the country – which means grassroots organizations will likely benefit.

“When the women’s program did win the Olympics and major tournaments, and money was coming into the program, it did trickle down,” said Soccer Nova Scotia executive director Lindsay MacAskill.

Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will share hosting duties for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Canada can now look ahead with optimism and an expectation to be competitive based on their performance in the Copa America Tournament.

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