JONES: Commonwealth are making a cool reception for World Cup qualifiers


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Researchers in Costa Rica and Mexico should know.


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The same goes for Canadian national football players who have returned to their club teams around the world while head coach John Herdman flies to Edmonton for a site visit on Tuesday to attend the ticket launch announcement.

Edmonton fans should know who are considering playing the FIFA World Cup â„¢ qualifiers here at the Commonwealth Stadium on November 12-16.

How cold can it be?

After doing a lot of research, I can report that the temperatures … damn it, if I know. Somewhere between +13 ° C and -19 ° C if you look at the other types of “soccer” games played in Edmonton in November.

Regardless of the temperature, the Canadian players can’t wait.

“I don’t think a Costa Rican or Mexican player has experienced the weather we will see in Edmonton,” midfielder Jonathan Osorio said in an email exchange.


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Osorio played for Toronto FC in consecutive MLS Cup games in December 2016 and 2017.

“Almost all of our players grew up in Canadian winters so cold weather doesn’t come as a big shock to us.”

And there will be the warmth that the Edmonton audience will bring with it.

“We can take advantage of the fact that it’s Alphonso Davies’ homecoming, so I’m expecting a very good audience. I know Edmonton has had very good viewers for Canadian football in the past, so it’s going to be exciting. “

Osorio makes another very valid point. The team will gather here to prepare for several days before the game and will only have the two games here with no travel between games. Canada played at home in the first qualifying window in September and away in the second window that has just been completed.


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“Playing in Edmonton will be a huge advantage for us,” said Canada’s September Player of the Month, Nashville SC right-back Alistair Johnston.

“I think the weather is something that will take us back to playing in these types of games when we were growing up. I can still remember when I was 15 years old shoveling snow in Toronto on a cold winter just to clear the lines.

“And I think this team will have a lot of energy, with even more spectators than our last game in Toronto against Panama,” he said of the record of 26,662.

“With Davies returning to Edmonton, that should bring a different kind of energy. The weather, the standings, the return of Phonzie and the fact that the team is in town for more than a week to play two games should be massive. “


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But again, how ccc-cold could it be?

Research has shown that game time temperatures for the postseason in November, including five Gray Cup games, 21 Western semifinals and 32 Western finals in Edmonton, were between -19 ° C and +13 ° C. And these games were played in virtually all field conditions imaginable.

Nine of the 21 West semi-finals were played in sub-zero temperatures, including -13 ° C in 1986 against Calgary, -12 ° C in 1959 against BC. and -10C in 2014 against Saskatchewan. It was a 9 ° C day compared to Calgary in 1961.

When it comes to the Western Finals, the coldest record in 1978 was -19 ° C (November 18 against Calgary, slippery, frosty).

The second coldest WF was -18 ° C on November 21, 1982, and the same temperature in 1973 in the game against Saskatchewan on November 18, when Edmonton returned to the Gray Cup for the first time since 1960 in foggy conditions most fans could see The game. This led to one of the greatest Edmonton Journal headlines of all time in my gaming history: “Out Of The Fog A Vision Of Gray”.


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Two other western finals also had double-digit minus temperatures. It was -17C in 1977 against BC on November 20 and -14C in 1959 against Winnipeg. Western Finals have been played here ten times in minus single-digit temperatures, including a minus nine in blowing snow against Saskatchewan in Game 1 in blowing snow in 1951.

The other 17 were played at plus temperatures, highlighted by a mild plus of 13 against Winnipeg in Game 3 in 1953.

Then there were the five Gray Cup games that were played here.

It was -10 ° C on November 18, 1984, -7 ° C in a frozen field in 1977, -5 ° C in a dry field on November 28, 2010, +1 ° C in a frozen field on November 24 2002 and +2 ° C on an extraordinary slippery field on November 25th, 2018.

The original Heritage Classic, the NHL’s first outdoor regular season game that would give Edmonton a special place in hockey history to inspire the NHL Winter Classics and dozens of other outdoor games around the world, definitely deserves that discussion.

This Edmonton event took place on November 22, 2003.

The temperature was -19 ° C and 57,167 fans sat through a legendary game between Wayne Gretzkys Oilers and Guy Lafleurs Canadiens with lineups of players with multiple Stanley Cup rings in addition to the regular season game Montreal-Edmonton.

Nineteen years later, this event could bring back many of those memories.



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