While Powell River soccer star Drew Ferguson was able to witness in person the Canadian men’s national soccer team march its way to the 2022 FIFA World Cup of Soccer, he will not be attending the world’s biggest sporting event in Qatar, which starts next month.
Ferguson said when he attended games where Canada came out as the first qualifier in CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) for the World Cup tournament, he was there to cheer on the team, but there is also the social aspect.
“I’m seeing some of the new players who are playing for Canada and know some of the older players well,” said Ferguson. “I can go to Toronto on the field and people still know you and recognize you. After the game I usually go back to the hotel and say hi to the players.”
He said as much as he’d like to attend the world cup, he said he’s going to sit in his La-Z-Boy chair at home and watch the games. He thinks the Canadian national side is competitive.
“The one solid thing we have is quickness and any team would like speed,” said Ferguson. “We have players who can go forward with speed, so I think there could be some upsets for sure.”
The 2022 World Cup of Soccer will be the first appearance for the Canadian national side since 1986. In group play in the 1986 world cup, Canada went scoreless and lost to the Soviet Union 2-0, Hungary 2-0, and France 1-0.
At this year’s tournament, Canada is grouped with FIFA’s number-two-ranked Belgium, 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia (currently ranked 12th) and Morocco (number 22). Canada is currently ranked 41st in the world.
Ferguson, a member of the Powell River Sports Hall of Fame, played soccer professionally and nationally, and is currently head coach of Canada’s Para Soccer National Team.