For many years, Canada
have been trying to make the breakthrough into the elite ranks of football on their continent in order to compete with the three powerhouses, Mexico, the USA and Costa Rica, but the sheer size of the country, also known for its unfavourable climatic conditions, has prevented Canada
from reaching their goal, although they have certainly made progress in recent years. In 2000, the national team won the Gold Cup (the CONCACAF continental championship), ensuring the Canadians a place at the FIFA Confederations Cup Korea/Japan 2001. Canada
's youth teams are also regular features at FIFA's U-17 and youth events. Women's football has also taken strides forward, culminating in Canada
hosting the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship in 2002 when Canada
lost to the USA in the final. Canadian players ply their trade in a variety of leagues abroad, including China, the USA, England, Belgium, Scotland and Germany. Paul Stalteri, who left SV Werder Bremen in the summer of 2005, is probably the most well known.