The 2018 World Cup kicked off today with an impressive 5-0 victory by Russia over Saudi Arabia. Russia is a team that isn’t expected to go far but they got off to a riveting start. However; if you’re a United States fan, you unfortunately won’t see the red, white, and blue lace up this year.
The United States won’t play any matches this year as they didn’t qualify, yet they’ve already won the World Cup. FIFA (soccer’s governing body) announced yesterday that the 2026 FIFA World Cup will go to Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Their slogan “United 2026” will be the first time in history that multiple nations will host a World Cup. United 2026’s only competition was Morocco which only received 65 votes while United 2026 earned 134. Additionally Iran chose neither and Cuba, Slovenia, and Spain abstained.
World Cup History
Not only will this be the first time multiple nations will host the World Cup at once, but the field will also expand from 32 to 48 teams. 60-80 games will be in the United States including all quarterfinals, semifinals, consolation, and final. It’s expected that Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium will be a cite for several games. While New Jersey/New York’s Met Life Stadium would host the final. Canada and Mexico would host roughly 10 games a piece.
“This is an incredible, and incredibly important, moment for soccer in North America and beyond,” said Carlos Cordeiro, the president of U.S. Soccer.
And it truly is an incredible moment in soccer for North America. Canada, the US, and Mexico will have automatic bids into the World Cup. The last time Canada made an appearance in FIFA World Cup was in 1986. That was Canada’s one and only World Cup appearance. They did however; compete in the 2001 Confederations Cup.
United States View
As for the United States, this will be the first time the World Cup returns since 1994. Many fans are still upset that the US didn’t qualify for this years tournament in Russia with many calling it an embarrassment. Now US soccer fans will have to wait 8 years minimum in between World Cup games for the stars and stripes. They’re next opportunity will come at the 2022 tournament in Qatar that’s riddled with controversy like this year’s tournament in Russia.
The US did recently have a friendly against France in which they tied 1-1. That squad, which had many young players, almost pulled off an improbable win. With the tie against France many wonder, was the US holding on to it’s older players for too long? So with the World Cup coming back to US soil, this should boost soccer’s popularity.
–Brian Berard (@RockyBerard)