"It's a big deal"

The head coach of the UBC Okanagan Heat is excited that the World Cup is coming to Canada in 2026.

FIFA chose a joint North American bid by Canada, the US and Mexico over a bid from Morocco.

Dante Zanatta says Canadians have been starving for a World Cup appearance.

"Our players that are 15 to 22 years old in eight years could be playing in the World Cup. I think this will inspire countless, both male and female, to take the sport to the next level. I only see good things for our sport in our country".      

The current blueprint calls for Canada and Mexico to stage 10 games each, with the U.S. hosting 60. 

Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal are Canadian candidate host cities for the men's soccer showcase, expanded to 48 teams for the 2026 tournament.

The only disappointing news was Vancouver will be watching from the sidelines.

"It is unfortunate the city of Vancouver isn't hosting games. Maybe things will change? The amount of players who play soccer on the Lower Mainland and in BC, to lose that opportunity to go to BC Place and watch the best players in the world live is extremely disappointing," Zanatta added.   

Canada's men's team hasn't played in a World Cup since 1986, but receive an automatic berth in 2026.