DAVIES MAKES COUNTRY PROUD
Alphonso Davies scored big for Canada, Mexico and the USA to bring the 2026 World Cup to North America.
He was the striker, the lead speaker, for the United Bid in Moscow and proved to be an inspired choice.
“He was the natural,” said Peter Montopoli, general secretary of Soccer Canada via cellphone from Russia early Wednesday morning.
“Alphonso has great chemistry with people. He has a great personality. His story drove the narrative. I don’t know what you were able to see back home, whether they showed the photos or not, but they showed photos of him when he was five years old, him coming to Canada and Canada adopting him as his home country.
“It was very compelling and very inspiring and very emotional. He was just the perfect guy to start with. He is what this bid was all about — being united,” Montopoli added.
The young man began his presentation at the FIFA Congress with: “It’s a great honour to speak to you today. My name is Alphonso Davies.
“My friends are from Liberia and fled the civil war. I was born in Ghana in a refugee camp. It was a hard life. When I was five years old, a country called Canada welcomed us in. And the boys on the football team made me feel at home.
“Today, I’m 17 years old and I’m playing for the men’s national team and I’m a proud Canadian citizen and my dream is to some day compete in the World Cup, maybe in my hometown (of ) Edmonton,” he said, beaming.
“The people in North America have always welcomed me. Given the opportunity, I know they’ll welcome you.”
Davies said he dreams of playing for Canada in Commonwealth Stadium and even dreams of scoring the first World Cup goal for Canada, our nation having failed to manufacture one in our only previous World Cup appearance in Mexico in 1986.
“It would be amazing to play for Canada in a World Cup. Not many players get to play in a World Cup, very few ever get to play in one in their own country much less in their hometown. Being able to play in the 2026 World Cup in Edmonton would be a magical feeling for me.
“For sure I’ll be dreaming of scoring Canada’s first ever goal at a World Cup. I’d be over the moon to score the first ever goal for Canada in the World Cup. I think that’s something I can really reach for.
“I was excited when one of the members of the Vancouver Whitecaps executive called me and said Soccer Canada wanted me to call them. They made me keep this a secret. I didn’t know how it was going to work. I just knew they wanted me to give a short speech. We worked that all out later. They asked me down here to tell them my story and we worked it out.”
Davies is coming off being named Major League Soccer’s player of the week for a one-goal, three-assist game for the Whitecaps in a 5-2 win over Orlando City. In the 20-year history of MLS, only five teenagers have won player-of-the-week honours.
In June last year, he became the youngest player to appear for the Canadian men’s national team and scored two goals in a CONCACAF Gold Cup match. Playing youth soccer for the Edmonton Internationals and Edmonton Strikers, Davies was in the FC Edmonton Academy and played a friendly for the team against Calgary Foothills before joining the Whitecaps.
“It just became one of the highlights of my life,” Davies said regarding his presentation Wednesday. “To be able to say I helped bring the 2026 World Cup to Canada is beyond belief. I was nervous waiting for our time to go on stage, but not when it was time. I had my story to tell and I was excited to tell it. My nerves just calmed down so I could do that.”
He said the moment the vote was announced was bigger than any goal he’s ever scored.
“I jumped out of my seat I was so excited. I hugged the other two players who are here from Mexico and the U.S. and hugged all the people behind the scenes that made this possible.”
Davies said he hoped his mom, Victoria, and dad Debeah, who fled Liberia to Ghana before moving to Canada and still live in Edmonton — where he continues to return in the off-season — are pretty proud. And he said he hopes all his childhood friends from Edmonton feel the same way, too.
He said he never thought for a moment about playing for any country other than Canada, as others have done with their birth nations.
“At a very young age, when I was five, Canada has given me what I needed in life, in football, school, food and everything. Canada gave me the freedom to live life like I want. When I got the opportunity to play for Canada, it was a special day in my life.
“Edmonton has meant everything to me. It’s where I met my friends and where I started my football life.”