Contrary to popular belief, U of T has another “football” team, which should be getting more exposure than they do now. Our soccer team has been one of the more dominant programs in recent years, and began this year ranked fourth in the OUA pre-season poll. The Blues were just handed their first loss this past Saturday to bitter rivals, the Carleton Ravens. The Blues still hold the top spot in the OUA Eastern division and will be able to avenge the loss when they square off once again with Carleton this upcoming Sunday. John Smits, starting goaltender (who led the CIS with 11 blank sheets last year) commented on the rivalry with Carleton: “U of T has always had a rivalry with Carleton University. They always challenge us for three points and never back down from any game.”
From November 11 to 14, U of T will be hosting the 2010 CIS Men’s Soccer championships. U of T is a definite contender to take home the title. Last year the men’s team lost a heartbreaker to the McMaster Marauders in the finals, but with 12 players returning, they are poised to make another deep run. U of T has a 4-1-2 record and is looking stronger than ever. “This might be the greatest quality of soccer that the city will see over three days, and we would love for the U of T community to come out and support us,” said Smits.
Soccer has become increasingly popular in Canada, and with the future expansion of the Major League, including teams in Montreal and Vancouver, the exposure will only grow. Our national soccer team is gradually improving and many believe that down the line, within ten years or so, soccer might take over as North America’s favourite sport. I think it will be hard for European football to steal fans from America’s NFL and from Canada’s hockey, but no one can deny the amount of recognition soccer has now, compared to ten years ago.
Once again, U of T, I’m calling out to all of you. We must go out and support our soccer teams, including our women’s team (who are currently tied for second place in the OUA Eastern division). Nationals are coming up, and since TFC couldn’t get into the playoffs, it’s a chance for soccer fans to finally get their fix of some meaningful soccer.
The men’s soccer team has a busy schedule upcoming which has them playing Laurentian University on Oct 8 followed the next day by Nipissing University visiting the Varsity Centre both at 2:15. The women’s games will be held at 12:00 at the Varsity Centre before the men’s game. If you can make it out, I urge you to do so.