Tickets for the World Cup qualifiers at Commonwealth Stadium go on sale this week

Canadian soccer superstar Alphonso Davies will wear the national colors for the first time in front of an Edmonton crowd next month as the national team contend for a spot at the FIFA World Cup.

Commonwealth Stadium will host the playoffs against Costa Rica and Mexico on November 12 and 16, respectively.

And while team manager John Herdman hopes the weather and turf will play in the home advantage, he says the crowd will be a crucial factor.

“We could create the conditions: cold environment, plastic fields, whatever – you know, what our Canadian kids grew up with,” Herdman said Tuesday.

“But without the fans, it won’t mean anything, it won’t mean absolutely nothing. And I’m just going to keep coming back to it: the home advantage is the people. The people who come to support us and do with us.”

At a press conference for the ticket date announcement, Davies expressed his enthusiasm for his professional debut in his hometown in a pre-recorded video message.

“Can’t wait to see you all there, can’t wait to fill this stadium – and we’re excited to show you what we have.”

Tickets go on sale Friday with a special presale Thursday for Canada Soccer subscribers. Participants will need to have full proof of vaccination or produce a negative COVID-19 test in accordance with the restriction exemption program.

Create momentum

The first and last time Canada competed at a World Cup was in 1986.

After such a long absence from the world stage, Herdman said rebuilding fan support and confidence takes time.

“If you haven’t been at a World Cup for over 30 years, you know that apathy is there,” Herdman said.

“And with every step forward, people expect two steps back. They expect you to fall quickly and ‘woe to me’ and we’ve been through part of it.”

Canada’s coach John Herdman reacts in a World Cup qualifier against Mexico in October. (Fernando Llano / The Associated Press)

Herdman said consistency is key to gaining the trust of fans – consistency seen this season. Canada have so far remained undefeated in their qualifying games.

Mexico is the only other team that can make this claim. The latter two met earlier this month in Mexico City, ending in a 1-1 draw.

Team Canada still has eight games to play, including those for Edmonton. The top three teams in the group – ranked by points gathered through wins, draws and losses – will go to Qatar next year for the World Cup.

Canada is now third in the CONCACAF group, behind Mexico and the United States.

Edmonton is offering to host matches for the 2026 World Cup, which will take place in several cities across North America.

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