The Gold Cup has come and gone. What was originally perceived as a doomed enterprise, ended up being a sign of promise. There is now hope within the men’s program for better days, and supporters can be excited for what the future holds. Let’s believe that with their play, Canada will attract a whole new generation of fans from coast to coast.

We welcome you. The more the merrier.

It is definitely not easy supporting the men’s program. We are met with constant disappointment. Yet, we keep coming back. There are many reasons for this. Loyalty. Love. Hope. Maybe all of the above?

I have a strong opinion about what I’m going to write about next. I’ve seen the same song and dance over and over again as long as I can remember. I would like to believe that it’s changing because it has made my blood boil over the years.

It’s not the half full stadiums. Those of us that turn up consistently should be applauded. We give the team everything we’ve got, no matter how small our push. Secondly, it’s not the people who don’t show up at all. That is their right to do so. Entertainment dollars are limited. I can’t blame someone for wanting to get the most bang for their buck.

The problem is the CANADIANS that do show up…to cheer for the opposition!

This has been going on for a long time, and is especially evident when World Cup qualifying cycles come around. This practice is most popular amongst those who cheer for their ancestral homeland – the land of their parents to be more specific. We see this regularly in the CONCACAF group stages.

I personally know people who were born here, and have parents that are from Honduras and El Salvador, who do this. We also see this when we host Jamaica. It has happened when we have hosted friendlies too – for example matches against Peru and Ecuador. I could only imagine a match against Portugal, Ireland, England, or Italy. This could be the worst possible outcome of hosting the 2026 World Cup.

Now, let’s take a step back and examine this with less passion. People do this for a multitude of reasons – apathy/disregard for Canadian soccer, the desire to be different from the crowd, glory hunting etc. Some of those folks will say that it’s not a Canada thing, but just a soccer thing. I’ve tried to convince those people they must choose Canada first and foremost. It seems like an operation of futility.

We live in a globalized world. The dynamics of families are varied. We can have multiple allegiances. In sports it is common to support more than one team, one club, or even one nation. This diversity is what gives us Canadians strength. This is how we should move forward.

All of us.

You don’t have to support the other over Canada. You can support BOTH. I saw this in person during the 2015 Gold Cup. Fans of Jamaica and El Salvador stayed behind to cheer on Canada in their match against Costa Rica. Yes, it wasn’t against their own interests, but it was still there. And it was real.

Honduras fans should support Canada against Costa Rica. Jamaican fans should support Canada against Mexico. Mexican fans should support Canada against El Salvador. This and more. You are Canadians, and in these situations, you don’t have to choose.

If you normally go to watch your team when they play Canada, that is fine. I’m done trying to convince you otherwise. But why don’t you come on down and support Canada against everyone else. The home friendly versus Jamaica on September 2 in Toronto is a good time to start. Buy a ticket and join the party. Add Canada to your list of multiple allegiances. And who knows, if you start liking the feeling, you might want to make us your only allegiance.

We welcome you. The more the merrier.

By William Jamieson