‘I’m just so proud of them’: Former Winnipegger in stands cheering on Canada at Copa America 2024 semifinals

Canada faced one of its biggest soccer tests on the national stage Tuesday night, taking on the World Cup champion Argentina squad in the semifinals of the Copa America 2024 tournament.

While the outcome did not go Canada’s way (Argentina won 2-0 and booked their spot in the finals), many still showed up in droves to support the team, including one fan, originally from Winnipeg, who was part of an atmosphere she described as ‘electric.’

Jennifer Lee was in New Jersey among more than 80,000 fans for the big game, and despite the loss, she was proud of Canada’s effort during the tournament.

“I’m not devastated,” she told CTV News. “I mean, let’s be honest, we didn’t expect them to make it this far, so the fact that they did was just amazing.

“I’m just so proud of them, and I think it’s going to put football, aka soccer, on the map finally in Canada, like it is in the rest of the world.”

Lee sat in a section of MetLife Stadium with almost all Argentina fans.

“They absolutely drowned me out, but I was screaming at the top of my lungs for Canada,” she said.

“The atmosphere was electric. Watching (Lionel) Messi play, watching him score a goal in what might be his last Copa America, it was just fun all around and amazing to be there.”

When Messi scored, Lee said the stadium was so loud, you couldn’t hear the announcers.

Lee has been a soccer fan since 2002, and she said she never expected Canada to get this competitive level as quickly as they have.

“I can’t wait to see what Canada does next,” she said.

Canada will play for third place on Saturday against the loser of Wednesday’s match between Colombia and Uruguay. Lee said she will be watching the game in Boston at a pub.

-With files from CTV’s Maralee Caruso

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