Look, we get it. You can’t gather in large crowds at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For supporters of live soccer, that can be a particularly bitter pill to swallow. But let’s stick to the positives. For one thing, soccer continues to grow in Canada. MLS teams have been filling stadiums for well over a decade, the Canadian men’s and women’s teams have set their own records, and Canadian Premier League clubs are reaching a new generation of fans by giving soccer supporters a reason to gather weekly in eight cities across the country. Until we can gather again en masse, let’s take a look at some of the biggest soccer crowds we’ve seen in Canadian soccer history. SELF-ISOLATION HELP: 10 soccer books to read || 7 CPL matches to re-watch || 5 soccer movies to check out
42,000: Toronto FC vs. LA Galaxy – 2012 CONCACAF Champions League – Rogers Centre (March 7, 2012)

An early Ryan Johnson goal gave TFC fans an early boost, though the match would end 2-2. Like any big match, there’s bound to be a fun moment. Insert David Beckham holding a beer can.
53,058: CanWNT vs. China – 2015 Women’s World Cup opener – Commonwealth Stadium (June 6, 2015)

Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium has hosted some big soccer crowds over the years. One of its biggest came in the opening match of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup when 53,058 were on hand to cheer Canada against China. An injury-time penalty in the second half converted by Christine Sinclair calmed Canadian nerves and gave the supporters something to cheer about. Canadian national teams have always drawn well at Commonwealth, which sits beside FC Edmonton’s current home in Clarke Field. Roughly 51,000 were on-hand in 1994 to see the Canadian men's side draw soon-to-be World Cup winners Brazil 1-1 in an international friendly.
54,027: CanWNT vs. England – 2015 Women’s World Cup – BC Place (June 26, 2015)

54,027 people filed into BC Place to watch Canada’s 2015 Women’s World Cup quarter-final. Unfortunately for Christine Sinclair, who did score in the game, England bagged a pair of first-half goals to eliminate Canada.
54,798: CanMNT vs. Mexico – 2018 World Cup qualifying – BC Place (March 25, 2016)

The Canadian men’s side welcomed 54,798 fans to BC Place less than a year later, setting a new Canadian national team attendance record. A crucial match in Canada’s hunt for a spot at the 2018 World Cup started out as promising as ever as Les Rouges welcomed Concacaf giants Mexico to Vancouver. Canada did, however, fall short as Chicharito, Hirving Lozano, and Jesus Manuel Corona scored in a 3-0 Mexico win.
60,342: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders – 1983 NASL regular-season game – BC Place (June 20, 1983)

A pre-Cascadia Cup match for the ages. BC Place’s first sporting event brought over 60,000 spectators to watch the Whitecaps take on the Seattle Sounders in the NASL. Soon-to-be England international Peter Beardsley scored twice as the ‘Caps took a 2-1 victory over the Sounders.
61,004: Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC – 2016 MLS Eastern Conf. Final Leg 1 – Olympic Stadium (November 22, 2016)

The Montreal Impact have twice sold out the 61,004 seats at Olympic Stadium. The first time came in their historic run in the 2015 Concacaf Champions League. Ignacio Piatti’s opening goal in a 1-1 draw in Leg 1 vs. Mexican side Club America saw the Impact return home with a chance to make history. Piatti’s assist on Andrés Romero’s goal eight minutes into Leg 2 sent the crowd into a frenzy as Montreal looked to become the first Canadian side to capture the Concacaf crown. However, four second-half goals by the Mexicans quickly subdued the audience and ended Impact’s dreams. The second time this 61,004 number was reached came 18 months later for Leg 1 of the 2016 MLS Eastern Conference Final. Another sell-out crowd witnessed a talented Impact squad face 401 Derby rivals Toronto FC – the winner would be the first Canadian team to reach the MLS Cup. The match, a frantic 3-2 Impact win, was famously put on hold when the lines of the 18-yard boxes had to be removed – classic Big O!
71,617: East Germany vs. Poland – 1976 Olympic Final – Olympic Stadium (July 31, 1972)

The 1976 Olympic men’s tournament final between Poland and East Germany drew 71,617 people to Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. East Germany shocked defending champions Poland 3-1 in an entertaining final. Montreal would play host to more big soccer crowds in the 1970s and 1980s. NASL side Montreal Manic pulled over 40,000 people to Olympic Stadium on four separate occasions – including a club record 58,542 in 1981.

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