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Ranking potential 2026 World Cup host cities in USA, Mexico, Canada

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With a list of 44 potential stadiums, and 41 cities, now lined up as hosts for the 2026 World Cup in USA, Mexico and Canada, the bid for the first 48-team World Cup in history is starting to take shape.

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On Thursday a list of the 41 cities who had submitted their “official declaration of interest” to be a host city was released for the World Cup.

Of course, there is still a long way to go until the winning bid is confirmed for the tournament but the joint-bid from the three largest countries in North America is the overwhelming favorite to be backed by FIFA.

Aside from exactly how the tournament would be scheduled in terms of where group games would be played to cut down on travel, most of the noise around this potential tournament (the second on U.S. soil, first in Canada and third in Mexico) is positive.

As a reminder it is proposed the U.S. will host 60 of the 80 matches with Canada and Mexico given 10 games each, which seems a little too U.S. centric for most.

For 32-team World Cups there are usually 10-12 host stadiums but with an extra 16 teams to take part in the 2026 World Cup it is probably necessary to have at least 18-20 stadiums. And as we have seen with Gold Cup and Copa America Centenario tournaments in recent years held in the U.S. tournaments have been spread around as much as possible, so maybe there will be 20-25 host stadiums.

Now we know who wants to host World Cup games — six stadiums were submitted from Canada, three from Mexico and 35 from the USA — below is a ranking of the potential host cities based on the following factors:

  • Current soccer culture
  • Their readiness to host World Cup matches
  • How popular the host stadium would be
  • Location infrastructure

Agree? Disagree?


  1. East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium
  2. Mexico City, Estadio Azteca
  3. Pasadena, California, Rose Bowl
  4. Arlington, Texas, AT&T Stadium
  5. Toronto, BMO Field
  6. Atlanta, Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  7. Vancouver, Canada, BC Place
  8. Chicago, Soldier Field
  9. Houston, NRG Stadium
  10. Miami, Hard Rock Stadium
  11. Foxborough, Massachusetts, Gillette Stadium
  12. Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial Field
  13. Landover, Maryland, FedEx Field
  14. Montreal, Olympic Stadium
  15. Seattle, CenturyLink Field
  16. Denver, Sports Authority Field
  17. Santa Clara, California, Levi’s Stadium
  18. Las Vegas, Raiders stadium under construction
  19. Guadalajara, Estadio Chivas
  20. Monterrey, Estadio Rayados
  21. Inglewood, California, LA Stadium at Hollywood Park
  22. Orlando, Florida, Camping World Stadium
  23. Minneapolis, U.S. Bank Stadium
  24. Nashville, Tennessee, Nissan Stadium
  25. Charlotte, North Carolina, Bank of America Stadium
  26. New Orleans, Superdome
  27. Kansas City, Missouri, Arrowhead Stadium
  28. Tampa, Florida, Raymond James Stadium
  29. Jacksonville, Florida, EverBank Field
  30. Glendale, Arizona, University of Phoenix Stadium
  31. Dallas, Cotton Bowl
  32. Cincinnati, Paul Brown Stadium
  33. Baltimore, M&T Bank Stadium
  34. Pittsburgh, Heinz Field
  35. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  36. Detroit, Ford Field
  37. Ottawa, Ontario, TD Place
  38. Salt Lake City, Rice-Eccles Stadium
  39. San Antonio, Alamodome
  40. Indianapolis, Lucas Oil Stadium
  41. Cleveland, FirstEnergy Stadium
  42. Edmonton, Alberta, Commonwealth Stadium
  43. Regina, Saskatchewan, Mosaic Stadium
  44. Birmingham, Alabama, Legion Field

Three Eastern Conference sides on record-setting pace

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2017 saw Toronto FC dominate the MLS regular season before going on to hoist the club’s first MLS Cup in club history.

[ MORE: Whitecaps teen Alphonso Davies nearing Bayern Munich move ]

Fast forward to this season, and three more Eastern Conference sides are poised to break barriers as they continue a near record-setting pace.

Atlanta United, New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls have created a sizable gap over the rest of the East with nearly one-third of the season remaining.

Toronto’s 69-point regular season total a year ago looked like a record that wouldn’t be touched for some time, however, the current trio of dominating forces in the East are all on pace to finish 2018 with 68 points.

Atlanta, NYCFC and the Red Bulls are all averaging two points per game, while Toronto averaged slightly above that total (2.03 ppg) during their MLS Cup-winning run.

The Red Bulls and NYCFC, in particular, could be in line to follow in the footsteps of last season’s Toronto FC.

Manager Chris Armas and the Red Bulls play 10 of their final games against teams outside the current playoff lines in their respective conferences, while Atlanta and NYCFC face five and four playoff teams, respectively.


Here’s a look at how the three teams will finish up the 2018 regular season:

Atlanta United (12 matches)

Montreal Impact, Toronto FC, Columbus Crew, Orlando City, D.C. United, Colorado Rapids, San Jose Earthquakes, Real Salt Lake, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Chicago Fire, Toronto FC

New York City FC (14 matches)

Orlando City, Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps, Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew, New England Revolution, D.C. United, Montreal Impact, Chicago Fire, Minnesota United, D.C. United, Philadelphia Union

New York Red Bulls (15 matches)

D.C. United, Columbus Crew, Los Angeles FC, Chicago Fire, Vancouver Whitecaps, New York City FC, D.C. United, Houston Dynamo, Montreal Impact, D.C. United, Toronto FC, Atlanta United, San Jose Earthquakes, Philadelphia Union, Orlando City

Mesut Ozil discusses critique of Turkish background

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Germany’s dismissal from the World Cup came as a shock to many, but one of its players received heavier scrutiny for off-the-field actions.

[ MORE: Whitecaps teen Alphonso Davies nearing move to Bayern ]

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil appeared in two of the three group stage matches for the Germans in Russia, however, his play was overshadowed by his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan prior to the start of the tournament.

The meeting between the two caused several German media outlets to criticize Ozil due to the heated relations between the two European nations.

Additionally, Ozil says his brand was affected as well, with various sponsors pulling their support due to the meeting with Erdogan.

The 29-year-old is of Turkish and German descent, which would have made him eligible to represent either country.

Ozil took to Twitter on Sunday to discuss how the ordeal has affected how the media and sponsorship has affected him over the last month.

Barcelona, Sevilla to play Spanish Super Cup in Morocco

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La Liga champions Barcelona will meet Sevilla in the 2018 Spanish Super Cup in Tangier, Morocco on August 12.

[ MORE: Klopp talks Pulisic, Liverpool spending ]

The Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) announced the decision on Sunday, as Barca looks to kick off the 2018 season against last year’s Copa Del Rey runners’ up.

Lionel Messi and Co. defeated Sevilla, 5-0, in the 2017/18 Copa Del Rey final, giving the Blaugrana a domestic double for the first time since the 2015/16 campaign.

La Liga play opens up in Spain on August 19, however, the full fixture list will be revealed on Tuesday.

Ibrahimovic: MLS is “lucky I didn’t come 10 years ago”

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been a major bright spot, as expected, in his debut season in Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: Whitecaps teen Alphonso Davies nearing Bayern Munich transfer ]

The LA Galaxy striker recorded a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union, raising his goal tally to 12 on the year — which ranks fourth-best in the league.

At the age of 36, Ibrahimovic has shown he’s more than capable of producing as a veteran, but it raises the question: how amazing would he have been in MLS had he joined sooner?

Following the Galaxy’s win over the Union, Ibrahimovic joked with media, suggesting he could have had the entire country in his hand if he had arrived in the United States sooner.

“They’re lucky I didn’t come 10 years ago,” Ibrahimovic said, “because I would be the president today.”