Welcome to an increasingly rare “Life in Saskatchewan” post. Obviously, the big story today is supposed to be “Soccer Day in Saskatchewan” as Valencia CF takes on New York Cosmos in an “international friendly” at the new Mosaic Stadium.
I wonder whether there is any real excitement out there for this game. Seriously, all the usual-suspect radio stations were ignoring this contest all week (even though over 15,000 people will likely be there) in favor of their usual nonstop overkill reporting of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who take on Calgary Stampeders later tonight on the road.
Meanwhile, up here in the Battlefords, all the interest is in the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame inductions event happening tonight (which I am covering). So a lot of SK folks aren’t paying attention to this soccer game, even though it is apparently the very first international friendly ever played in Saskatchewan. Which tells you all you need to know about how off the beaten track Saskatchewan is as a major soccer venue.
The other thing is that there is a lot of talk out there about this new “Canadian Premier League” that could be starting up after the 2018 World Cup. There is a group interested in putting a pro franchise in Saskatchewan, a group that includes Lee Genier, former president of the lacrosse Saskatchewan Rush. But when these guys appeared on CKRM the other day, a lot of the questions were “how can you expect to compete against the Riders?” You get the picture.
Now, I love the CFL like everyone else in Sask., but I also like a range of sports. Personally, I’d like to see the other big-time sports make their way to Saskatchewan, so I’d be all for this “Canadian Premier League” setting up a team in the province. But they really ought to put it in Saskatoon, simply to avoid the ‘Riders.
Anyway, back to this Valencia CF-NY Cosmos game. SB Nation has this piece previewing the game. You can also go to the Valencia website and see their stuff here and here about their trip to Regina. Also, they have lots of videos of the team coming to Regina. Great stuff.
The game’s audio is also being streamed live on the Valencia CF website. Don’t worry, you unilingual English-speakers; you’ll still be able to understand what’s going on, particularly when somebody scores a goal. “Gooooooooooooooal!”
Also, you’ll be amused by the announcers’ pronunciations of Canada, and Regina. “Re-gee-na!”