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FIFA 2026 to impact local soccer programs

The FIFA World Cup is making an impact on soccer programs in Lloydminster.

One of the biggest announcements over the past couple months was the successful bid of Canada co-hosting the worlds largest soccer event in 2026. Canada will host along with Mexico and the United States.

Director of Player and Coaching Development with Merdian Soccer Kevin Wagner says this is an inspiration of what can be for youth soccer players in Lloydminster who will have an opportunity to see some of the games in Edmonton.

“It’s one of the key events in the world. If it’s only a couple hours away from Lloydminster that combined with the Canadian professional league, I think can do the same type of thing that Edmonton hosting the Women’s World Cup did for women’s player’s many years ago.”

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Merdian Soccer Club in Lloydminster has a total of 650 kids who have registered for the Summer outdoor soccer program. Wagner says during the Women’s World Cup many programs located farther from Edmonton then Lloydminster came out to see the event, so he believes there will be the same local and regional support in 2026.

In order for Canada to bid on the event, a domestic league was needed, as a result of the requirements to bid The Canadian Premier League was announced to start next year. Wagner says that mainstream attention for the sport is important in the long run.

“That’s probably the biggest part that will lead to success and opportunity for future years way down the road.”

Wagner is also the Head coach of the Lakeland Rustlers and says they’re holding a youth soccer program August 27-30th for more information go to Lakeland’s website.

Written by Tre Lopushinsky, 106.1 The Goat

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