Young soccer players inspired by Team Canada's success at Olympic Games

The success of Canada’s National Women’s Soccer Team is inspiring a younger generation of players according to those involved with youth soccer.

Canada defeated the United States Monday morning, securing a berth in the gold medal matchup in Tokyo.

“For us, in our high performance programs, the girls are talking about wanting to play for the national team,” said Paul Burns, Executive Director of the Waterloo Minor Soccer Club.

Burns said all the youth players, no matter their gender, seem to know the names of the Canadian players.

“It is definitely creating more chances for them to see the game on TV and, you know, try to emulate players they see.”

Others agree the team gives them ideas to try on the field.

“The girls do know who they are, and I believe at this age they don't watch as much, but they recognize the names and have some role models to look up to,” said Carlos Argueta, Coach of the Kitchener Soccer Club U13 Academy Girls team.

“Some of the players, they do some cool things and it makes me want to try hard and get to a higher level,” said Eva Argueta, a U13 Kitchener Soccer Club player.

According to Burns, the National team’s success highlights the importance of minor soccer clubs that help players learn the fundamentals of the sport.

“Grassroots soccer really has a place, because all of these players started at four and five in their grassroots club,” said Burns.

Emma Thomson, Waterloo Minor Soccer Club player, decided to practice her soccer skills on Monday in hopes of one day playing soccer on the international stage.

“It just really taught me, and that's why I'm kind of out here today, just to keep pushing, to keep going, keep working for your dream,” said Thomson. “It's not going to come easy and just pushing through and trying to really just go out there and have fun really I think showed in their performance today, and it's just inspiring to see their determination on that field.”

The women’s team will be up against Sweden on Thursday and are guaranteed a medal. Clearly they have already won over the next generation of players.​