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HockeySoccer Night in Canada Hockey is no longer our nations favourite pastime Are you surprised Well you shouldnt be because over the last ten years the number of people registered in soccer has tripled that of hockey What should surprise you however is that even with the number of Canadians becoming involved with organized soccer drastically increasing every year Canada has yet to successfully sustain a professional league for more than a few seasons The answer to this problem is not to flood our professional teams with foreign players but to build from the ground up creating Canadian talent and increasing the number of local players in our professional leagues By building more local players into our pro teams we will in turn create greater community support lower the player salary budget and most importantly it will attract young skilled athletes to the sport Many professional soccer teams have folded because the support of the community was not there however teams that flourished were those that created loyal fans by building their team with local players Sadly with the Edmonton Drillers of the National Professional Soccer League NPSL having to drop out of the league last season due to money problems Canada has lost yet another highly competitive soccer team The reason for their premature departure was clear and simple there were not enough fans in the seats Many feel the reason for this was that Edmonton soccer community felt no connection to the team because none of the local players that were picked for the team ever got to see any playing time When the team chose to play these few local players the total game attendance rose from an average of 4500 to close to 10000 The coaching staff argued that playing the local players more would cause the team to do poorly however not only did the Drillers win more games on average when these players played but the attendance was
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