The Alberta foothills is not a place where you would think a Premier League soccer team would flourish. Dominated by rodeos and hockey fans, at quick glance central Alberta isn’t a front-runner for a sport like soccer – or, is it? With new sports like river surfing becoming viable in the area, and baseball gaining momentum with the Okotoks Dawgs, it seems like is growing fan base for other sports is now possible. Certainly, Calgary Foothills FC seems to be benefiting from a fan base ready to scoop up new experiences.
This season saw the Foothills FC dominate its competition. Even visiting teams such as Portland and Seattle U23 didn’t have a chance at Foothills Field in Okotoks. And, the success wasn’t only at home: even on the road the Foothills FC played strong soccer.
Next year, with a new stadium located at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, the club will shift from Okotoks and become part of the newly formed Cavalry FC in the inaugural season of the Canadian Premier League. Other clubs will include FC Edmonton, the Forge FC out of Hamilton, HFX Wanderers FC out of Halifax, Valour FC out of Winnipeg, Vancouver Island FC, and York 9 FC out of Ontario. Originally slated to kick off this year, the league believes the passion and excitement of the World Cup spill over into 2019. Hopefully, the season will even include exhibition games against the Seattle Sounders FC and Chicago Fire as a way to integrate both soccer leagues in ways that North American football from the NFL and CFL has not been able to.
It’s exciting times for soccer in Canada and North America. Let’s hope one big picture spin-off of this excitement will be that a Canadian team will soon make its way into the World Cup. In the meantime, look for Foothills FC to continue its dominance at the national level.