US, Canada, Mexico win joint bid for 2026 World Cup

Infield Infidel

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https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/06/us-canada-mexico-joint-world-cup-bid-2026

A joint bid from the US, Canada and Mexico to host the enlarged 2026 World Cup is expected to be finalised this year for submission to Fifa, according to Victor Montagliani, the president of the region’s Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).
Although each country individually would have the infrastructure to host the World Cup alone, Montagliani said, a joint bid would be “a fit” with the new 48-country, 80-game format of the 2026 tournament. A final decision is likely to be taken “some time this year”.

Fifa’s new process for countries bidding to host the 2026 World Cup, announced last year under the presidency of Gianni Infantino, set out a period from June this year to December 2018 for the preparation of bids. Evaluation of countries’ suitability by Fifa is scheduled for January 2019 to February 2020, with the final decision to be taken at Fifa’s congress in May 2020. Concacaf’s proposed joint bid is considered by far the early favourite to host the tournament, which has not been held in the region since the US World Cup of 1994. The previous Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, lobbied for the US to host the 2022 World Cup, as part of a continued push to expand football as a sport in the country, before a majority on the Fifa executive committee voted controversially instead for Qatar.
 

coremiller

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If a joint 3-way 2026 tournament goes well, that basically sets up the same 3 to host the tournament one out of every ~5 cups. There's no other competition to host in CONCACAF and even in CONMEBOL only Brazil and maybe Argentina or some very unwieldly 4/5 country joint coalition could pull off a 48-team tournament. That means that if FIFA wants a tournament in the Americas, it basically has to use the USA/MEX/CAN coalition with some regularity.
 

Titans Bastard

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Glad to see Canada finally developed a solid plan to qualify for the WC again.
 

Schnerres

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Pulisic will break his ankle on canadian turf.

[start another thread about possible players in the WC 26 and everyone has to pick a Fantasy WC 23 roster. That would be fun.]
 

biollante

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So all 3 countries that host get a team in ? Nice trick Canada and at this point, maybe the U.S., because soon or later Pulisic won't have any ankles.
 

yeahlunchbox

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I'm a fringe soccer fan, so I imagine most of you have a better answer to the following question. What's in it for the US? Yes, we're more likely to be the host now, but I imagine we were already the favorite and this seems to eliminate cities like Boston that would normally have games but will probably be squeezed out so cities in Canada and Mexico can have games
 

SoxFanInCali

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California. Duh.
besides automatic qualification, you mean?
The US would have been a massive favorite to host alone, so would have gotten automatic qualification anyways. And even if the US didn't host, there are 48 teams in 2026 (probably 6 from CONCACAF), so it's unfathomable to think the US wouldn't easily qualify if they needed to.
 

InstaFace

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well, that's also 16 CONCACAF qualification games you're not getting beat up for.
 

67YAZ

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I'm a fringe soccer fan, so I imagine most of you have a better answer to the following question. What's in it for the US? Yes, we're more likely to be the host now, but I imagine we were already the favorite and this seems to eliminate cities like Boston that would normally have games but will probably be squeezed out so cities in Canada and Mexico can have games
Despite all the rhetoric that FIFA (and the IOC, too) spout about sustainability and responsibility, time after time the Cup goes to countries willing to invest billions in new stadiums and infrastructure. In the current global political economy, there's only a handful of nations willing and able to do that, while the old guard of international sporting mega-events now see massive popular resistance to that kind of spending (e.g., Boston's Olympic bid).

A NAFTA Cup makes sense because it spreads out the costs and investments associated with the event and should hopefully lead to better, more useful investments...especially in light of expansion to 48 teams. Put another way, are the people of Massachusetts willing to invest tens of millions of tax dollars for upgrades in and around the Blade in order to host Spain v Trinidad & Tobago or Australia v Slovenia or Egypt v Paraguay?
 

Bosoxen

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well, that's also 16 CONCACAF qualification games you're not getting beat up for.
This got me to thinking:

That qualification cycle would either be a massive snoozefest or an all-out brawl. On the one hand, you'd be taking away three qualification spots. On the other, you'd be taking away the top two teams in the region. With Costa Rica and Honduras likely safe, they'd park the bus for the entire cycle. But if they were to get in any kind of danger, the shanks would surely come out.
 

Infield Infidel

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I watched the presser today.
Games per country :
US: 60
Canada: 10
Mexico: 10

Montagliani said FIFA has to approve auto-bids for home countries, but he said they assume it'll be the same as in past competitions. But in past joint WC/Euros each country hosted the same number of matches. Sly way to get an auto-bid for Canada if it works.
 
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Titans Bastard

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Despite all the rhetoric that FIFA (and the IOC, too) spout about sustainability and responsibility, time after time the Cup goes to countries willing to invest billions in new stadiums and infrastructure. In the current global political economy, there's only a handful of nations willing and able to do that, while the old guard of international sporting mega-events now see massive popular resistance to that kind of spending (e.g., Boston's Olympic bid).

A NAFTA Cup makes sense because it spreads out the costs and investments associated with the event and should hopefully lead to better, more useful investments...especially in light of expansion to 48 teams. Put another way, are the people of Massachusetts willing to invest tens of millions of tax dollars for upgrades in and around the Blade in order to host Spain v Trinidad & Tobago or Australia v Slovenia or Egypt v Paraguay?
The US is unique among potential hosts in that it doesn't need to invest a lot into infrastructure because we already have the stadiums. The 1994 WC is still the best-attended WC in history even though there were 52 games (24 countries) instead of 64. Furthermore, the venues that the US has to offer have gotten a lot better since then, too, as many of the NFL stadiums that have been built since then are better suited to host a WC game than the venues that were used in 1994. For ex: Stanford Stadium, the Cotton Bowl, RFK. Even if they hadn't continued to age, these would never been considered among today's options.

In today's bid announcement, they said that there would be 60 games in the US, 10 in Mexico, and 10 in Canada. All games in the QF and beyond would be in the US.

Even though they'd only have 2-3 host cities, Canada will probably have to spend more on stadiums than we will. Neither Toronto nor Montreal have a particularly well-suited venue. BC Place will probably suffice in Vancouver. Down in Mexico, I believe Estadio Azteca is already being renovated. Chivas and Monterrey both have new stadiums that are in the range of 50k and Guadalajara + Monterrey would be logical host cities along with Mexico City.

For the US, I think the joint bid is all about politics, and has nothing to do with investment or finances. European and Asian countries are not allowed to bid in 2026 and it doesn't look like there are any real contenders from South America or Africa. There's some talk of Colombia and Morocco. The biggest competitor would probably be Mexico and it's easier to co-opt them with this deal with the US hosting 3/4 of the games anyway. As for Canada, perhaps there's some horse-trading to get CONCACAF support; the confederation is run by a Canadian after all. More than that, the Trump Effect will not work in our favor and the USSF isn't going to bribe the shit out of FIFA like Russia and Qatar did. Partnering with Mexico and Canada gives the bid some air cover.


(BTW, Montagliani has already suggested that the games Canada will host will be played on grass. That'll go down well in the WoSo community.)
 

Titans Bastard

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Montagliani said FIFA has to approve auto-bids for home countries but in past joint WC/Euros each country hosted the same number of matches. Sly way to get an auto-bid for Canada if it works.
I'm stealing this joke from BigSoccer, but since Canada is hosting, both of the NTs Canadian soccer fans root for will get an auto-bid: England and Italy.
 

Merkle's Boner

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Grant Wahl was insinuating yesterday on Twitter that the USA needs the other countries because of the current political climate. Specifically, FIFA would want guarantees that all nations would be able to travel to the Cup, including Iran. Wahl was getting a lot of shit from followers, and while I applaud his shot at Trump, and the idea that decisions have consequences, I do have a hard time believing that this would be a concern for 2026.
 

InstaFace

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Grant Wahl was insinuating yesterday on Twitter that the USA needs the other countries because of the current political climate. Specifically, FIFA would want guarantees that all nations would be able to travel to the Cup, including Iran. Wahl was getting a lot of shit from followers, and while I applaud his shot at Trump, and the idea that decisions have consequences, I do have a hard time believing that this would be a concern for 2026.
The decision point for awarding 2026 comes between now and 2020. Bid consultation and preparations now through 2018, evaluation through early 2020, decision May 2020 as of the most recent declarations.
 

dirtynine

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If this happens, as you'd think it would, I wonder what the realistic on-field goal would be for the USMNT. After a few losses in the R16, I'd say quarters is is the level we're shooting for now in a non-domestic cup. So, on US soil... semis? The final? We would have Pulisic at age 27 (playing in perhaps his third cup) leading the charge.
 

Titans Bastard

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If this happens, as you'd think it would, I wonder what the realistic on-field goal would be for the USMNT. After a few losses in the R16, I'd say quarters is is the level we're shooting for now in a non-domestic cup. So, on US soil... semis? The final? We would have Pulisic at age 27 (playing in perhaps his third cup) leading the charge.
I think "realistic on-field goal" and "the level we're shooting for" are two different things.

I think R16 continues to be the realistic goal and QF is what we are shooting for. Maybe we can bump that up to QF and SF in 2026 given home field advantage AND if the strength of the player pool improves, but....we'll see. I'm not convinced. You can sneak into the quarters with the right draw but you just can't reach the SF without at least one big-time win.

We've come so far since the wilderness of 1950-1990, but the next leap is the hardest to take. Look at Mexico, who by rights should be a legit WC contender.
 

Domer

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Grant Wahl was insinuating yesterday on Twitter that the USA needs the other countries because of the current political climate. Specifically, FIFA would want guarantees that all nations would be able to travel to the Cup, including Iran. Wahl was getting a lot of shit from followers, and while I applaud his shot at Trump, and the idea that decisions have consequences, I do have a hard time believing that this would be a concern for 2026.
Wahl tweeted this piece of tripe last night apparently without irony.
As someone with similar political views, even I was tired of his act yesterday.
 

Titans Bastard

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Grant Wahl is the most overrated journalist in the niche world of American soccer.
 

InstaFace

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If this happens, as you'd think it would, I wonder what the realistic on-field goal would be for the USMNT. After a few losses in the R16, I'd say quarters is is the level we're shooting for now in a non-domestic cup. So, on US soil... semis? The final? We would have Pulisic at age 27 (playing in perhaps his third cup) leading the charge.
Pulisic's career may yet have some miracles in it, but not even Pele in his prime could take a team with second-rate talent elsewhere on the pitch and knock off two or three of the best dozen national squads in the world. It's too much of a team game. You look at Germany, Argentina, Brazil, France, Spain, you're talking teams that have 5 or 6 of the best 100 players in the world, and probably 1 in the top ten, and pretty much every player starts for a UCL-grade team. We'd probably do no better than even odds against those countries' reserves (like, take away their starting 11, have their next-choice squad start). The depth for the top squads is absurd, and the USA would be easily exposed at its positions of weakness. Go look at the players left off of the squad for France or Belgium last year at the Euros, look at where they play their club ball, and then ask how many players we have who have similar pedigrees and demonstrated ability to perform at that level. Franck Ribery is the first-choice LW for Bayern f'ing Munich; he couldn't get on France's team even as a backup. The list of players left off Spain's 35-player roster included Diego Costa, Paco Alcacer, Juan Mata...

We have a LOT of work to do, and a LOT of prospects who need to hit their 95th-percentile projections or better, before we've got a team that can compete at those levels, absent a series of goddamn miracles. In my lifetime there have been 2 USMNT miracles:

(1) Bruce Arena's 2002 team would have tied* (and gone to AET) against a good-but-not-yet-great German team in the WCF Quarters, but for an inexcusably missed call on a handball on the goal line, and
(2) Bob Bradley's 2009 Confed Cup run, ousting a Spain team (world #2) who had just won the Euros and would win the WC the next year (and following it up by nearly ousting #1 Brazil for the title despite Bradley being suspended). I have never seen such shame as what was on Gerard Pique's face after that match.

That 2009 squad had an in-their-primes Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard (who had his second-best day in a USA jersey), and a CB pairing of Onyewu and Bocanegra, both in their primes as well. Of the lot, I'm not sure more than Dempsey could have been considered a top-100 player at the time, though to be fair the rest were no slouches. So to beat that Spanish squad was certainly a miracle. We of course can't say what the team will look like 9 years from now, but the difference between us and the top 10 teams in the world is literally a generation of institutional knowledge, infrastructure and player development. TB's made a real education of that for me here. To make the quarters would be to match an achievement we've done only once in the modern era, and that with the benefit of a favorable R16 matchup. To make the semis would require a miracle such as the above, and the finals would require two miracles back-to-back.

So I'd say I'd be damned satisfied to see the quarters again, home field advantage or no. We have the talent to get out of nearly any group stage, or should, and if we should win our group we ought to have even-or-better odds against a runner-up in the R16. Anything above that is just unrealistic expectations.

* And we were bossing that match, everywhere but the scoreboard. It was like 1945 out there. I guarantee we find a way to win that game if we're given that goal, nevermind if the guy gets a straight red too.
 

67YAZ

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I didn't expect a 60-10-10 split. Clearly the USSF is confident in the infrastructure in place or soon to come online.

Final in LA at Kroenke-Land?
 

dirtynine

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I agree with all of the well-taken concern about the difficulty of establishing the quality and depth to be consistently competitive with the world's top teams by a US-hosted Cup. My thoughts about 2026 are more of the "lightning in a bottle" variety. Maybe we're 15th best in the world around then. We might have to beat 3-4 teams ranked higher than us to win the Cup, and just one or two to make the semis. On home soil and with, say, a world top 10 #10, I don't think that's crazy. We may not have the type of program that can "earn" a great showing, but we could do it anyway.

Bruce is thinking along those lines, anyhow...
https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/news/bruce-arena-2026-usmnt-win-world-cup-prediction#RHEZG3ud3v6KrOK0.99
 

InstaFace

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The #15 MLB team beats a top-5 MLB team 30-40% of the time.

The #15 european club team beats one of the Big 3 like 10-20% of the time, if that. And you need 3-4 of those in a row.

The reason so many of us are fapping madly to Pulisic is that now we finally have ONE outfield player who belongs on the field against that level of competition. Donovan, Dempsey, Fabian Johnson and Reina were/are great players, but they're a rung down from that. It's a huge start - the US youth system finally produced a world-class player, once he moved to europe at age 15 and fought his way onto his first-team squad.

If Pulisic is heralding the start of a real pipeline and American players start getting taken seriously by top clubs the way, say, South Korea and Japan now are, then in 5-10 years we might actually be realistically talking about this. That's pretty much what Arena was saying - by 2026, we could be in a position to talk about it. If, however, he's the combination of a set of circumstances that can't be replicated and sustained by US Soccer, then I will enjoy the shit out of our runs to the R16 or even the QF. Countries like France have an Mbappé or Kante or Pogba or Varane emerge basically one per year like clockwork.
 

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My stab at US host cities:

-Phoenix
-Jerrah World
-Santa Clara
-Vegas
-NY
-Miami
-Kroenkeworld
- Foxboro
-Chicago
-Seattle
-Houston
-Denver


Shouldn't Azteca have at least one of the semifinal games, considering the history, capacity and location of the stadium?
 

Ale Xander

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My stab at US host cities:

-Phoenix
-Jerrah World
-Santa Clara
-Vegas
-NY
-Miami
-Kroenkeworld
- Foxboro
-Chicago
-Seattle
-Houston
-Denver


Shouldn't Azteca have at least one of the semifinal games, considering the history, capacity and location of the stadium?
With the semiquincentennial, you figure FedEx will also host something
 

ConigliarosPotential

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Here's my question: if Canada gets an automatic berth in the finals as a host, will it also get a top seed in its group as is normally the case for being a host? Because the latter would feel very wrong, albeit not much more wrong than Qatar getting a top seed in 2022.
 

Gunfighter 09

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With the semiquincentennial, you figure FedEx will also host something

Great point, I think you are right. So what is the number of host cities in the US? I went with 12, assuming 5 matches each, but you could go with 15 cities hosting four matches each or even 18 cities with 6 four match cities and 12 three match cities. In last year's Copa America they had 10 cities for 32 matches, with Santa Clara and Chicago hosting four matches and everyone else hosting 3 matches.

I think they go with no more than 15 cities because, in a 48 team tournament there are going to be many matches between teams that draw very few few fans. Each city is going to want a Germany, England, Italy or Brazil to play at least one match in their stadium to balance the inevitable New Zealand vs. Slovenia type matches that come with a 48 team tourney. Another planning factor is that Mexico will almost certainly want to play their three group stage matches in Mexico and the US will certainly refuse to play a group stage match in Mexico.
 
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Titans Bastard

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There have been rumblings that Morocco will win the 2026 bid for a few months now. FIFA politics, the FBI probe, and Trump's (un)popularity are contributing factors, probably in that order.

On top of that, Vancouver and Chicago both announced they are withdrawing from consideration as host cities in the last few days.

 

dirtynine

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Hard to imagine a US or North American World Cup without Chicago. Or any bid involving Canada not to feature Vancouver.

At this point I’m fine with Morocco. It would be more fun to travel there for a few weeks than it would be to go to, say, LA, Orlando and Houston. I wonder how they’ll manage an expanded field of teams, but if they have a plan...

I thought the US made perfect sense as host for 2022. Now I’d just as soon move on for a while. And/or pick up the pieces if Qatar falls apart.
 

Zososoxfan

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Hard to imagine a US or North American World Cup without Chicago. Or any bid involving Canada not to feature Vancouver.

At this point I’m fine with Morocco. It would be more fun to travel there for a few weeks than it would be to go to, say, LA, Orlando and Houston. I wonder how they’ll manage an expanded field of teams, but if they have a plan...

I thought the US made perfect sense as host for 2022. Now I’d just as soon move on for a while. And/or pick up the pieces if Qatar falls apart.
Agree with this wholeheartedly. The joint bid really never made sense to me and FIFA can go fuck itself for a few more years.
 

Titans Bastard

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After all the anxious vote-counting, it wasn't even close: 134-65.
 

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I'm happy for Canada, it's a real underachiever in soccer (I get the sense the game is *at least* as popular there as it is here, especially with the larger immigrant communities) and I suspect FIFA won't force them to qualify as has been proposed for future multi-country bids.
 

Titans Bastard

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I'm happy for Canada, it's a real underachiever in soccer (I get the sense the game is *at least* as popular there as it is here, especially with the larger immigrant communities) and I suspect FIFA won't force them to qualify as has been proposed for future multi-country bids.
Since the World Cup is expected to expand to 48, giving out three auto-bids to the hosts becomes quite a bit easier, I think.

Regarding popularity: when you compare the number of TV viewers for MLS broadcasts in Canada and the US, the Canadian broadcasts draw a MUCH higher percentage of their population than the American ones do. Maybe the concentration of Canada into three large metro areas helps that (the chance that the national broadcast covers your local team is much higher), but I doubt that accounts for the whole difference.
 

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Congrats to our countries. This is a great day. I hope that I will be able to bring my daughter to a match. Demand for tickets will be a tick higher than 1994 :)
 

Ale Xander

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12 stadia?

My guess would be:

Gillette (probably least deserving based on public transportation/infrastructure, but no way Krafts don't get their hands on this)
MetLife
Fed Ex
Hard Rock (maybe too hot, but a must with demographics)
Soldier
Reliant
CenturyLink or Levi
Rose
---------
Azteca
BBVA (Guadelupe)
BC Place (Vancouver)
Olympic (Montreal)
 

dirtynine

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Pulisic will be 27. Depending on circumstances he could be the biggest star athlete in the country before / during / after 2026.
 

Ale Xander

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Adding Commonwealth or Rogers
Chivas (Akron)
Levis/Century Link
and MileHigh or Phoenix