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FIFA 2026 announcement hits home for local soccer association

The worlds best in men’s soccer are coming to Canada in 2026 and one Lakeland minor soccer association couldn’t be more excited. In an announcement made yesterday, Canada, in a joint bid with the United States and Mexico, was awarded the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup over other contending nation Morocco. Matches are expected to be played in Toronto, Montreal and at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. Canada has never hosted the games but did qualify for the 1986 tournament, losing in the first round.

Andrea Korecki is the Registrar with the Cold Lake Minor Soccer Association, she says the announcement was met with cheers from parents and players alike.

“We’re completely excited. It’s such a great opportunity for our young players to have the event so close to us so we can actually go and take part in games and make it part of our community as well.”

Canada has never hosted the men’s games but did qualify for the 1986 tournament, losing in the first round. Edmonton was host to a few games with the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 20 Lakeland U-10 players were picked to be a part in the opening ceremonies.

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Korecki says the lucky girls who were picked haven’t forgotten how special that day was.

“I think it affected a lot of the girls because most of those girls who got that opportunity are still playing today. Those girls are U-13 to U15 now.”

Korecki hopes the 2026 edition will have something similar as it grows the sport in the area. The Cold Lake Soccer Association host players under the age of 5 to 18-year-olds. More information on the group can be found on their website or on Facebook.

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