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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

Stoke City adds versatile Greek left-sided man on loan

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New Stoke City boss Paul Lambert is tasked with shoring up a defense which has been bottom half in goals allowed for several seasons, and has made his first move.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines — Week 24  ]

Kostas Stafylidis is a 24-year-old left-sided player with 22 Greek caps to his name, but he’s fallen out of favor at Bundesliga side Augsburg and managed just 31 minutes this season.

He’ll head on loan to the Potteries, where he’ll attempt to aid the leakiest side in the Premier League. Stoke’s 50 goals allowed are eight more than its closest competitor (Watford).

Stafylidis has played left back and left mid for club and country, though he had his most league success last season at left back. He scored four goals and was rated Augsburg’s best field player by WhoScored and its top player overall by Squawka.

And he wants to be there (from StokeCityfc.com):

“As soon as I heard I told my agent directly that I wanted this move,” he added. “I left it to him then, he spoke to the Club more, and then to the trainer and we all wanted to make this move happen. It is good for me, it is good for the Club to bring me here for five months and I am very happy about that.”

Top Premier League storylines — Week 24

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It’s the first week of the Premier League season which follows a Manchester City league loss, so you know our top storyline of the week is going to begin with Pep Guardiola‘s men.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Just how big of a bounce back will there be for Man City?
Manchester City vs. Newcastle United — 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC STREAM ]

The manager, who turned 47 on Thursday, saw Liverpool use a frantic second half spell to boost a 4-3 win and end hopes of an unbeaten PL season.

And while Jurgen Klopp‘s high press kept them off-kilter for most of the first half and had them rattled early in the second, City still came within a late free kick to finding a point.

Enter Newcastle, a club that flustered them at St. James’ Park last month and came within a Dwight Gayle-turned header of finding a point for Christmas.

So how angry is City after its first loss of the season? Maybe a better word is motivated, and we expect that City will hang a big number on Rafa Benitez‘s men considering the Spaniard isn’t likely to try to repeat what worked for Klopp.

Wobbly Burnley plays host to sound Manchester United
Burnley vs. Manchester United — 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN STREAM ]

Jose Mourinho’s men head to Turf Moor with Alexis Sanchez expected to join their side any day and both Liverpool and Chelsea three points behind the Red Devils.

Believe it or not, though, the match is more pivotal for the hosts, who are in danger of slipping deep into the back of chasers after their stingy and resolute start to the season had the Clarets aiming for a Top Seven place.

Now Leicester is within three of the 7th place Clarets, and Everton is seven back with two big additions in place of need. If Burnley wants to stay in the race for seventh, it needs to get its first win in seven tries. Seven’s the number, you see?

United hasn’t allowed a goal in four matches, dating back to a 2-2 draw on Dec. 26… against Burnley.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Will the Gunners show signs of life after tumultuous week(s)?
Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace — 10 a.m. ET Saturday on CNBC 
STREAM ]

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal’s first loss in a month turned “unbeaten in seven” to “one win in five,” and Arsene Wenger‘s men look set to lose Alexis Sanchez and have already watched last season’s second-leading scorer, Theo Walcott, skip town for Everton.

Meanwhile, Palace played the Gunners tight in a 3-2 loss on Dec. 28, and that was the Eagles’ only Premier League loss since a 1-0 defeat at Spurs on Nov. 5.

Is Liverpool going to stay motivated?
Swansea City vs. Liverpool — 3 p.m. ET Monday STREAM ]

On the surface this is silly, especially with Virgil Van Dijk happy to return to the fold. Yet Liverpool has a knack of playing down to its opponents. The Reds are coming off a major win over Manchester City and have the knowledge of a recent battering of cellar-dwelling Swans in their back pocket. Will they rise up on Monday? The national focus could help.

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks

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Week 24 of the Premier League is here and the race for the top four and against relegation is really heating up.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live ] 

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun.

Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out. Listen carefully, because this is very specific.

[ STREAM: Premier League “Goal Rush”

With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the long shots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for. 


BASICALLY, FREE MONEY

Burnley 0-3 Man United – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Man City 4-1 Newcastle – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) –  [STREAM

Southampton 0-3 Tottenham – (Sunday, 11 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Arsenal 3-1 Crystal Palace (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, CNBC) – [STREAM

West Ham 2-0 Bournemouth – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Swansea City 0-3 Liverpool – (Monday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

DON’T TOUCH THIS… 

Leicester City 2-1 Watford – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]

Brighton 1-2 Chelsea – (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Stoke City 1-1 Huddersfield – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”

Everton 2-2 West Brom – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Premier League TV, streaming schedule: MD 24

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Drink in all the Premier League action you can get before the FA Cup takes center stage the weekend after next.

MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ]

The full TV schedule for the games this weekend are below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

You can also watch Premier League “Goal Rush” at for all the goals as they go in around the grounds. Goal Rush is available via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports App.

[ MORE: Premier League “Goal Rush” ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Here’s your full TV schedule for the coming days. Enjoy.


FULL TV SCHEDULE

Saturday
7:30 a.m. ET: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Chelsea – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Burnley vs. Manchester United – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace – CNBC [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Everton vs. West Bromwich Albion – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Leicester City vs. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Stoke City vs. Huddersfield Town – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: West Ham United vs. Bournemouth – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
12:30 p.m. ET: Manchester City vs. Newcastle United – NBC [STREAM]

Sunday
11 a.m. ET: Southampton vs. Tottenham Hotspur – NBCSN [STREAM]

Monday
3 p.m. ET: Swansea City vs. Liverpool – NBCSN [STREAM]