Polly want a cracker?
In this era of cable TV, HDTV, and internet a country like Canada only needs to qualify for the world cup once to get the snowball rolling. Having some decent professional teams based in the country will keep that ball growing. Right now this team is not respected at all as seen by some of the quality Canadian players deserting us to play for other national teams (Calgary-born and raised dual-citizen Owen Hargreves choosing England for one of the examples). Once Canada qualifies it will make more players like him at least give serious consideration to this team and more youths will aspire to be part of all this. Countries like US, Japan and Australia have qualified a lot more often after they started a league than they did before. Canada did make it to the 1986 Cup thanks to the vast majority of the players having pro-experience in the NASL, although they didn't do too well once they got there. Unfortunately, the league collapsed and so did any momentum Canada was trying to build in the international stage. This time it will be a lot different as we have a league that is as solid as a rock, couple of teams notwithstanding.