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Which cities to host 2026 World Cup in USA, Mexico, Canada?

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With the U.S., Mexico and Canada to announce a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup on Monday at 2 p.m. ET, many people have many questions.

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The fact that all three of the countries involved could conceivably host the tournament on their own (especially the U.S.) has many questioning  why a trio of hosts is needed, yet the prospect of a tournament being hosted across an entire continent is an exciting idea and something UEFA is indeed doing for EURO 2020.

So, let’s take a look at how a 48-team World Cup could be hosted across the U.S., Mexico and Canada with a minimum of 16 host stadiums needed if you take into account that there are currently 12 host stadiums for 32-team World Cups to date.

UPDATE: With the announcement that the U.S. will host 60 of the 80 games in the tournament, I’m thinking 10 host cities in the U.S. and three each in Mexico and Canada. No doubt that number may changes in the months and years ahead, but for now it seems like just three venues in each of Mexico and Canada will be enough.

The most intriguing nature of this idea, for me at least, is the fact that cities close together on the US-Canadian border and the US-Mexican border can be linked together and group games can be played in two countries, giving a real international and unique vibe to proceedings.

Here’s a breakdown at the best options in each country to host World Cup games, with a few notable mentions as the U.S. has so many great cities and venues to choose from.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


USA

New York City – MetLife Stadium is the obvious choice here with NYC also an outsider to host any potential World Cup final.
Chicago – Solider Field hosted World Cup games in 1994 and should be the venue once again for America’s third city.
LA – Plenty of options here with new stadiums being built. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena has a rich soccer history, but the new NFL stadium for the Rams could be an option.
Houston – Mexico and the U.S. have always got huge crowds for international games in Houston and NRG Stadium would be the perfect venue, especially as it’s just a four-hour drive from the Mexican border.
Seattle – One of the strongest soccer fanbases in the U.S. is certainly deserving of World Cup matches at CenturyLink Field. Not the biggest city in the U.S. but with its proximity to Portland and the Canadian border with Vancouver the Pacific Northwest could become a hub for group games.
Orlando – This would complete a very even spread of stadiums and would give soccer fans in the Southeast a chance to watch the games. Hosting them at Camping World Stadium would be easy.
Atlanta – The new Mercedes Benz stadium was built for tournaments like this. Atlanta is a growing soccer city with a new MLS franchise and given its status as a huge transport hub, ATL seems nailed on to be a host city.
Washington D.C. – Having the U.S. capital on board will be key for many reasons and having FedEx Field available it’s a no-brainer.
San Francisco – The home of 49ers in Santa Clara has hosted plenty of big games in the Copa America Centeratio and the International Champions Cup and the Bay Area would be a brilliant host region for World Cup games.
Boston – Gillette Stadium (then known a Foxboro Stadium) hosted World Cup games in 1994 and with New England being a passionate soccer region this makes total sense.

Other notables: Philadelphia, Denver, San Diego, Michigan (The Big House), Miami, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Dallas


Mexico

Mexico City – Azteca Stadium would undoubtedly be a worthy venue to host the World Cup final given that it’s done so twice in the past.
Guadalajara – Estadio Chivas the obvious choice here and a city rich in soccer heritage would be a gem in Mexico’s bid. Surely nailed on.
Tijuana – Its close proximity to the U.S. border and San Diego would again give teams the chance to get a flavor of both the U.S. and Mexico perhaps during the same group.

Maybes…

Puebla – Puebla’s Estadio Cuauhtemoc home would be a fine World Cup venue and with it being close to Mexico City, Puebla is easily accessible.
Leon
– Estadio Leon would need an upgrade but Leon’s proximity to Mexico City means that it would once again be easy to travel to and from Mexico’s capital.
Monterrey – The sparkling Estadio BBVA Bancomer should be in line to be one of the host venues, plus Monterrey being a quick flight away from Texas could mean group games played in the U.S. and Mexico.

Other notables: Mexico City (Estadio Olimpico Universitario) Guadalajara (Jalisco Stadium), Toluca, Pachuca, Queretaro


Canada

Toronto – Capable of hosting huge sporting events, Canada’s largest city would almost certainly be a host of group games and knockout matches. BMO Field to be expanded?
Vancouver – After doing a wonderful job in hosting the 2015 Women’s World Cup final, BC Place is the front-runner and Vancouver makes tons of sense as it’s on the border with the U.S.
Montreal – A hub of culture and sport, Montreal makes plenty of sense and hosted the Olympic games and has a rich soccer culture.

Other notables: Calgary, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton

Liverpool fans without tickets warned, as Roma pledges support

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There was a terrible incident in Liverpool on Tuesday when a Reds supporter was set upon by Roma fans and left in critical condition.

Sean Cox, 53, was attacked outside a pub before Liverpool’s 5-2 UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg win over AS Roma.

[ MORE: LFC 5-2 Roma | Klopp reacts ]

Liverpool has released its plans to keep supporters safe should they be among the 5,000 with tickets in Rome on Wednesday (via LiverpoolFC.com), pledging the “most comprehensive safety and security advice.”

The club has taken the exceptional measure of requesting an extraordinary meeting in the Italian capital, which will take place on Friday April 27. … At the behest of Liverpool, club officials will join AS Roma, UEFA and the relevant Italian police and security services to discuss specific ongoing concerns.

Merseyside Police chief superintendent Dave Charnock backed up Roma’s police demand that Liverpool fans without tickets skip the trip to Italy. According to the BBC, Liverpool was asked to put fans names on their tickets to the game.

“While we understand and appreciate that many Liverpool fans will want to travel to Rome, I would encourage fans who do not have tickets to not travel,” he said.

AS Roma, for its part, posted a photo of Cox with the statement, “His recovery and the safety of all fans attending football matches, is the only thing that matters now.”

Report: Gerrard on Rangers shortlist ahead of Old Firm Derby

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Could Steven Gerrard‘s first foray into management come against his old manager and in one of the most heated derbies in the world?

The BBC is reporting that the Liverpool legend is on the shortlist for Rangers as the Glaswegian side prepares to hire a new manager in its bid to reverse Celtic domination of the Scottish Premiership and the Old Firm Derby.

[ MORE: Fulham, NFL owner to buy Wembley? ]

Brendan Rodgers has engineered a marvelous run of form for Celtic, who went unbeaten in the league last season. Rodgers is also a sought-after managerial candidate for bigger jobs in Europe, and may not be at Celtic if and when Gerrard is hired by its rivals.

Either Celtic or Rangers have won the Scottish top flight title dating back to 1984-85, when champions Aberdeen were led by some guy named Alex Ferguson.

Rangers are facing a Manchester United moment this weekend, traveling to Celtic Park for a Sunday derby against Celtic which would see their rivals clinch the Premiership with a win.

Celtic has a 10-point lead on Rangers and Aberdeen, and is extremely likely to win its seventh-straight Premiership title. The record for most consecutive Scottish titles is nine, shared by Celtic (1966-74) and Rangers (1989-97).

Sweden announces Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not return for World Cup

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s public flirtation and seeming committal to returning to the Swedish national team for the World Cup was a big tease.

Whether it’s his call or not is up for debate.

The Swedish Football Association reports that it’s spoken with Ibrahimovic and the 35-year-old LA Galaxy striker has declined the chance to return to the fold.

[ MORE: Fulham, NFL owner to buy Wembley? ]

Sweden’s sporting director Lars Richt says Ibrahimovic has not changed his mind on international retirement despite his own words.

Sweden’s current team may have a role in that.

We imagine Richt and Sweden may be cushioning the blow for Ibrahimovic, especially if national team goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson is speaking on behalf of a team vibe when he speaks of Zlatan being “an individualist” who could ruin Sweden’s team-first concept.

Report: Fulham, NFL owner Khan agrees $700m price for Wembley

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Fulham owner Shad Khan also owns a National Football League team, and could have two top-flight teams from different nations playing in England soon.

For Fulham, the Cottagers are currently very much in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League and at the least will have a chance at qualifying through the playoffs.

[ MORE: TFC loses CCL Final in PKs ]

For the Jaguars, who have rarely needed all the seats in their stadium, it could mean a move to London if Khan goes through with what’s being reported as an accepted $700 million bid to buy Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium was also built with the design to host NFL games.

Here’s how ProFootballTalk’s Michael David Smith puts a bow on it (on one of the biggest days of the NFL calendar, nonetheless):

So it’s possible that there could soon be two iconic soccer stadiums in London with strong NFL ties, one which was built with NFL games in mind, and another that is owned by an NFL owner. The league is pouring serious resources into London.

It seems unlikely Khan would move Fulham from Craven Cottage, but there are other repercussions of this move for soccer in England.

There’s the potential for the England national team to no longer utlizie a permanent home, and the FA Cup and League Cup both potentially requiring new or rotating venues for their final rounds.

A lot to monitor here, and we’ll surely have all the details as they emerge from Khan’s crew.