United 2026 wins! The World Cup will head to the USA, Mexico, & Canada
June 13, 2018
THE WORLD CUP will be returning to the United States and Mexico as well as head to Canada for the first time after the United 2026 bid prevailed over Morocco. This effort was an enormous priority for former U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and his successor Carlos Cordeiro and the victorious effort could be an enormous boost to the sport in the United States.
Before the United States hosted the World Cup in 1994, the sport was in a far different and inferior position. For many, it was an afterthought. There was no professional league, many of the national team players came from New Jersey and California, watching live professional games from Europe was nearly impossible, and the World Cup ratings from 1990 in Italy were miniscule.
The World Cup in 1994 changed everything for the sport and help build a fanbase that grew into what it is today. There is now a professional league that includes impressive infrastructure such as stadiums and training grounds, European games are omnipresent on television, top players now come from across the country, and the World Cup is big business.
Most the World Cup games in 2026 will take place in the United States and it will be a 48 team World Cup – which should open the tournament’s doors for the first time to many countries.
The big question right now is what kind of impact the 2026 World Cup will have in the United States? It probably can’t come close to matching the influence of the 1994 World Cup because that helped lay important framework that exists today. The sport of soccer has grown from third tier status to a big business in the United States and 1994 was a turning point.
But 2026 will be big. It will draw enormous crowds and television ratings and the money generated will likely break records. It is exciting for American fans to think about what will come next for the sport in this country. Will this World Cup put the sport over the top and embed it into the American culture to where it can rival the traditional sports? Will it inspire interest in the game to the point where future generations of American players have the desire and ability to take the national team to another level? Will this lead to more investment and improvement in Major League Soccer?
There is no question that the last four years have been difficult for American soccer. The national team’s failure to qualify for the World Cup was embarrassing for the team and its fans.
But more positive news is starting to happen. Two American teenagers will be in the UEFA Champions League next year and youth national teams have been posting significantly improved results the past three years. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it’s a start.
The 2026 World Cup could turn out to be one of the most significant developments to American soccer in a long time. When Qatar won the 2022 bid in controversial fashion in 2010, it seemed like having the World Cup return to the United States would be impossible but the 2026 bid was first rate and combining Canada and Mexico was convincing.
It will be hard for many American fans to watch the games this summer in Russia but today’s news brings hope to the fanbase that better days are on the horizon.