Canadian National team victory against Honduras sparked by defender with West Kootenay connection
Canada started the road to Russia on a positive note as Cyle Larin scored the 38th minute to spark the home side to a 1-0 victory over Honduras in World Cup qualifying before a raucous crowd of 20,108 Friday at BC Place in Vancouver.
The game marked the first meeting between the teams since the Canadians were routed 8-1 by Honduras in October 2012 during the final game of qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil.
Canada entered the game needing only a draw to advance to the final round of qualifying.
The game featured a local Nelson connection as defender Adam Straith, whose mother Delphine was born and raised in South Slocan, played his 31st cap for the National Team.
“Up early, must be because I’m excited to have a chance to play in front of my family and friends tonight at BC Place,” Straith said prior to the game on his Twitter account.
Straith, 25, anchored the Canadian defence Friday against a pesky Honduran squad.
Straith was six years old when he started playing soccer for Bays United SC in Victoria. He then was a member of the Whitecaps Residency Program in 2007 before turning professional in Germany in 2009. Straith currently plays in Norway for Fredrikstad.
He was 15 years old when he began his career with Canadian Soccer, playing for the youth program in 2006. Straith was a member of the Canadian squad at the 2007 CONCACAF Under-17 Qualification Tournament in Jamaica.
Straith represented Canada at the 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Trinidad and Tobago and was 19 years old when he made his debut for Canada in May of 2010.
Canada, ranked No. 104 in the world, is in one of three four-team groups along with No. 24 Mexico, No. 94 El Salvador and No. 95 Honduras.
“Great start in Vancouver, now off off El Salvador to play on Tuesday,” Straith said on Twitter. “BC Place was fantastic tonight.”
Straith is the son rugby star Kane Straith and of former Mount Sentinel High School start Delphine (Zarikoff) Straith.
Zarikoff, the daughter of Helen and John Zarikoff, was one of the best athletes to graduate from the South Slocan-based school.
Straith’s mother Delphine played all sports at Mount Sentinel before attending school at University of Victoria where she was a key player on the Vikes varsity women’s soccer team.
Delphine Straith, who played for Team BC at the Canada Games, was also instrumental in starting a women’s soccer team, Sportnettes, in Nelson during the early 1980s.