May 20, 2024
  • May 20, 2024
CS Saint-Laurent

Over 2K Tickets Sold For CS Saint-Laurent’s Cup Match Against TFC

By on May 6, 2024 0 1574 Views

With Toronto FC coming to town, the reigning Ligue1 Quebec champions have now sold over 2,300 tickets for the home leg of their tantalizing quarter-final home leg cup match. Without a doubt, it’ll be the biggest game in CS Saint-Laurent’s young history.

The semi-professional side has already defied the odds to surpass the Halifax Wanderers in the tournament’s opening stage, becoming the first semi-pro side from Quebec to knock out a professional opponent in the Canadian Championship. All that in their second year as a Ligue1 Quebec team, too.

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The victory out east teed up an absolutely magical quarter-final matchup against Toronto FC, who already ran riot on a semi-pro side Simcoe County Rovers in the opening round. The visitors boast big-name professionals and an annual player wage bill north of sixteen million dollars. Suffice to say, they’re expected to win. Comfortably.

Fear isn’t part of the CS Saint-Laurent’s DNA, however, with the team showing that they could punch upwards on the counter and catch professional opposition by surprise. A handful of CS Saint-Laurent fans had made the trip to Halifax, but a whole lot more will be representing the 514 on Wednesday night.

While Toronto FC will be well familiar with Montreal away days, this time they’ll be heading about a half-hour east of Stade Saputo: CS Saint-Laurent will host its high-profile opposition at Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard, which was built for the 1976 Summer Olympics and certainty looks the part.

At 2,300 tickets sold and counting, it’ll be a spectacle night for an area of Quebec’s football scene that is often under-sung and under-represented on the national scale. It’s a big gap in the Canadian Premier League’s coast-to-coast club lineup, though Canada’s top flight league would like to fill it.

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TFC head coach John Herdman had hoped to put seven goals beyond the Rovers last month, so it’s fair to expect a similarly ruthless mentality against the next semi-pro side up to bat. While it’s unclear if players like Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi will play, we can certainly expect players like Jonathan Osorio, Prince Owusu, and Cassius Mailula to feature.

“Even if they do not play, the thought of taking on Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi is surreal,” head coach Nicholas Razzaghi told us before the upset against Halifax. “To host them here in Montreal and to give our hometown inspiration and hope when they see these guys playing in their backyard…it would be an honour and a dream come true.”

Up against players racking in six figure salaries (and for a few, seven) are athletes like Mamadou Kane and Obeng Tabi, who have tasted professional heights in the CPL but never quite settled up there. Kane played hero against Halifax, scoring the club’s first goal and slotting home his spot kick in the penalty shootout.

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Loic Kwemi, the other Saint-Laurent scorer that night, had once trialed with Cavalry. Make no mistake: this a team comprised of players who have been told ‘no’ at higher levels, and they’ve got a bone to pick – but the dog now encroaching on their yard is much, much bigger than them.

This Wednesday’s venue is, historically, hostile to Toronto: Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard was once home of the Montreal Impact between 1993-2007, with the academy side continuing to train there through to 2015.

Whatever happens on Wednesday, there’ll be a healthy home crowd to take in the action and remember the night Toronto FC came to face a two-year-old Ligue1 Canada side. One imagines a hearty contingent of TFC fans will make the trek eastwards, too.

Interested fans can purchase general admission tickets for $20 apiece here, with the link including an option to donate further to Ligue1 Quebec’s sole representative in this year’s Canadian Championship.

Header Image Photo Credit: Move Photography

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