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World Cup-bound Team Canada to play Iranian soccer team in Vancouver

Let's GO! 🍁⚽
Jonathan David carries the ball while playing Jamaica. Team Canada will play Iran in Vancouver as part of their preparations for the Qatar World Cup.

With their first trip to the World Cup since 1986 coming up, Canada's men's national soccer team is looking to prepare for the big stage.

As part of that, they're trying to challenge other teams bound for the tournament before it starts. And they booked one.

Iran, ranked 21 by FIFA (compared to Canada's 38), will be coming to BC Place this June to play an international friendly. Friendlies are still competitive games and count towards international rankings (though not as much), but aren't part of tournaments. As it's a game to prepare for the World Cup it's likely both teams will play many, if not all, of their top players.

The game will be Sunday, June 5 at 4 p.m. Tickets will go on sale Saturday, May 14, at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.

"This will mark Canada’s first two home matches since qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 after finishing first overall in the CONCACAF Final Round," says Canada Soccer. "It will also mark the Men’s National Team’s first match at BC Place since a 4:1 win over French Guiana on 24 March 2019 in CONCACAFA Nations League Qualifying."

Canada has booked a game as part of the CONCACAF Nations League A against Curacao in Vancouver as well. While it was announced first, it's happening a few days later on June 9.

Team Canada is preparing for November's World Cup in Qatar. The one and only time Canada appeared at a World Cup was the 1986 tournament in Mexico, where they lost all three games and didn't score a goal. Hopes are high that they will do slightly better this time as they play Belgium (ranked 2 by FIFA), Morocco (24) and Croatia (18).

Iran will be the biggest team Canada has faced outside of CONCACAF (which includes North America, Central America and the Caribbean) in several years (they played Morocco in 2016). In CONCACAF Canada recently tied or beat the USA and Mexico, both ranked in the top 20, during the World CUP qualifying rounds.