From the time Dale Mitchell was a toddler, the only time a soccer ball wasn’t at his feet seemed to be when he cracked a pinpoint strike at goal. And as one of Canadian soccer’s all-time great finishers, Dale often found the back of the net.

Growing up in Vancouver, Dale played soccer for Grandview Legion and basketball for Van Tech. After making the Vancouver Whitecaps at age 18, he was traded to the Portland Timbers in 1979. Over the next three-and-a-half seasons with Portland and one season with the Montreal Manic, Dale scored 43 goals in 125 games.

In nine MISL seasons, Dale established himself as one of the best indoor soccer players in North America. Playing with Tacoma, Kansas City, and Baltimore, he scored 406 goals and totaled 686 points—3rd and 4th most all-time respectively in MISL history.

A regular member of the national team from 1980-94, Dale played for Canada in four World Cup qualifying campaigns, helping Canada qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 1986 and coming close on two other occasions. He also led Canada to a quarterfinal finish at the 1984 Olympics where he finished third in tournament scoring with three goals in four matches. Upon retiring, Dale stood tied with John Catliff as the leading international scorers in Canadian history with 19 goals each.

Dale also played seven seasons in the Canadian Soccer League, leading the Vancouver 86ers to three of their four-straight CSL championships from 1988-91. In 121 games with the 86ers, he scored 49 goals—fifth all-time in club history.

Later, Dale coached the Canadian men’s national team from 2007-09.

Written and researched by Jason Beck, Curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

To read more on the career of Dale Mitchell, please see the April 2022 Curator’s Corner article here: