Written by Will Parchman

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The 2015 Canadian U20 World Cup qualifying team was supposed to be different. That it was not was the continuation of a deeply troubling valley in Canadian youth national team soccer that’s continued without much substantive change through the present day.

The 2015 team entered CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in 2015 with no shortage of hyped players. Marco Bustos had already signed professionally with the Vancouver Whitecaps and was (and is) a rare attacking mind. Cyle Larin was less than two months away from embarking the single most productive rookie season in MLS history, and in fact he gave his MLS draft thank-you speech from the cloistered Canadian U20 camp in Jamaica. Sam Adekugbe, Marco Carducci, Jackson Farmer, Kianz Froese… the names stretched toward the horizon. This was, without much question, the best Canadian U20 team in living memory.

It also turned out to be the worst performance in a U20 World Cup qualifying tournament in Canadian history. C’est la vie.

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Written by Will Parchman

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Women’s soccer officially kicked off the Rio Olympics on Wednesday, and while the U.S. surveys the scene from atop its multi-colored red, white and blue throne, the rest of the world cues up its challenge.

Canada and Australia played their opener on Wednesday, and Canada’s starting lineup featured a number of college grads. Included in that list is Janine Beckie, who put the finishing touches on a Texas Tech career last fall without parallel. Notably, she scored 57 seconds into her first ever Tech match to spark a career in which she left Lubbock the career leader in almost every scoring category.

Well, Beckie’s a pro now, and she did it again.

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Written by Will Parchman

On Oct. 12, 2012, Canada beat Cuba 3-0 in a World Cup qualifying match in Toronto. Over the following two years, which spanned 16 games, Canada didn’t win again. Not once. The Canadians went 0-11-5 during a period of futility that started with a humiliating 8-1 loss to Honduras that knocked them out of World Cup contention. Canada was out-scored 29-4 over that stretch. Brutal.

Good news, though, ye mounties. Canada broke that streak to pieces on Tuesday with a resounding 3-1 win over Jamaica, which, ugh, guys. Take in all the glorious highlights above.

Perhaps the futility is turning around. Perhaps Canada is quietly building a WORLD POWER in some snow-covered bunker north of the border. But here’s what we do know – the Globe and Mail is now trumpeting a three-game unbeaten streak. Which includes draws against Moldova and Bulgaria. The excitement is real. Have to start… somewhere?

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