With the World Cup wrapping up, it’s time for soccer associations worldwide to prepare for qualifying for the next tournament, to be held in 2014 in Brazil. And in Canada’s case — as prairie dog mentioned -– it’s going to need all the help it can get. But there were times when Canadian men’s soccer didn’t suck. Much.

1904 Summer Olympics, St. Louis

Canada won gold. (Wikipedia) Two teams from the United States finished second and third. It was a three-team tournament in St. Louis, but still …

1986 World Cup, Mexico

The defensive-minded team didn’t score a goal in the three games it played in the tournament. (World Cup History Page) The closest thing to a victory was a 1-0 loss to powerhouse France on June 1 in Leon. Consecutive 2-0 to the Soviet Union and Hungary rounded out Canada’s participation in Group C.

1989 Jeux de la Francophonie, Casablanca
The Francophone equivalent of the Commonwealth Games, Canada sent its best under-23 players for the soccer tournament that July, and won gold, defeating the host Moroccans 4-1 in the final. Canada also won the tournament during la Francophonie in Madagascar in 1997. (Wikipedia)

1994 Edmonton

After failing to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the U.S., Canada’s participation was restricted to hosting several exhibition games with other teams heading to the Big Show. On June 5, 1994, Canada tied Brazil 1-1- at a ‘friendly’ played at Commonwealth Stadium. Eddy Berdusco scored the goal. Brazil went on to win the World Cup that year.

2000 Gold Cup, California

What stands for the North and Central American championships was the Canadian Soccer Association’s first (and so far only) addition to the trophy room. After qualifying for the playoff round through a coin toss (!) Canada upset Mexico in a semi-final match in San Diego, before defeating Columbia (who were invited to play in the tournament) 2-0 in a rain-soaked L.A. Coliseum in front of about 4,000 fans. (Red Nation On Line) Here’s Craig Forrest, Canada’s goaltender and the most valuable player in the tournament.

And here’s highlights of Canada’s victory over Columbia. You hear, once or twice, the name of Martin Nash. That’s Steve Nash’s little brother. Martin was born in Regina.

2001 Confederations Cup, Japan

Canada finished with two losses and one tie in the pre-World Cup tournament, its high point being a scoreless draw with Brazil, who won the World Cup the next year. (Wikipedia)