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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

UEL Recap: Wolves earn huge road victory, and more

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Wolverhampton Wanderers has one proverbial foot back in a European competition, potentially breaking a 40-year drought for the club.

Wolves defeated Torino on the road, 3-2, in the first leg match between the two sides on Thursday at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino. Mexican international Raul Jimenez continued his red-hot form with another goal, while Diogo Jota scored as well for Wolves.

The Premier League side took the lead late in the first half thanks to an own goal, as Gleison Bremer headed in a Wolves free kick expertly into the side netting. Jota then added the second for Wolves in the 59th minute after an individual moment of brilliance from Adama Traore down the right side of the box, completely bamboozling his defender.

Torino’s Lorenzo di Silvestre answered just two minutes later off a late run into the box and a powerful header, but Jimenez then gave Wolves another two-goal advantage, as well as another crucial away goal. Jimenez ran with the ball from midfield and with Nicolas N’Koulou retreating, Jimenez took the space and scored.

Torino striker Andrea Belotti gave the Italians some late hope with a penalty kick goal in the 89th minute, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback. Anything but a defeat by more than two goals for Wolves will be enough for the club to make it to the Europa League group stage.

Here’s more results from around the Europa League on Thursday afternoon:


Celtic top AIK at home

The Scottish champions appear to have brushed off the disappointment of exiting the UEFA Champions League with a solid 2-0 win at Celtic Park against AIK Solna on Thursday evening.

James Forrest scored the opener for Celtic, taking advantage of a ricochet on the edge of the box to unleash a strike that AIK goalkeeper Oscar Linner couldn’t parry away. Odsonne Edouard then put the icing on the cake with a tremendous free kick from 30-yards out to give Celtic it’s 2-0 lead.

Neil Lennon’s side then held off AIK late to secure the shutout.

Thursday’s Europa League Playoff Round first leg qualifying matches:


Astana 3-0 BATE
Ararat Armenia 2-1 F91 Dudelange
Malmo FF 3-0 Bnei Yehudah Tel Aviv
Suduva 0-0 Ferencvaros
Feyenoord 3-0 Hapoel Be’er Sheva
Ludogorets 0-0 Maribor
FC Copenhagen 2-1 Riga
AEK Athens 1-3 Trabzonspor
Legia Warsaw 0-0 Rangers

Crossroads: What if Arsenal hadn’t gone unbeaten?

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The 2003-2004 Premier League season will forever be remembered for Arsenal’s Invincibles, the first team in history to go an entire 38-game season undefeated.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

But what if they hadn’t?

On the latest episode of NBC Sports’ new series Crossroads, host Aaron West dives into the Invincible season for Arsenal, and what would have happened if Arsenal lost along the way. Of course, we know that didn’t happen, and it wasn’t until the next season against Manchester United that Arsenal’s unbeaten run of 49 games was ended.

Watch the latest episode of Crossroads above, and check out previous episodes on Manchester City and Liverpool on NBC Sports‘ Youtube Page.

 

Oxlade-Chamberlain signs contract extension at Liverpool

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While Liverpool hasn’t been busy in the transfer market, it continues to be busy upgrading its first team contracts.

The club announced on Thursday that it had signed midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to a new, undisclosed long-term contract. The BBC reported that the new contract tied Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool through 2023, after his last deal was set to expire in 2022.

[READ: JPW’s Premier League Picks]

“I’m really, really excited – it’s been in the pipeline for a little while, so it’s nice to finally get it done and just extend my time here, which I am really looking forward to,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told Liverpool’s website in a statement. “I feel like I missed out on a year, which I obviously did, so it’s really exciting for me to be able to sign. It’s something that I feel is an opportunity to give that year back and make up for lost time – and hopefully put in some good performances to make amends for not being around last year.

“You’ve got to count your blessings every time you get an opportunity like this, you don’t get the chance to play for Liverpool Football Club every day. I am really excited to be able to extend my time here.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain is finally healthy after a long, long recovery from a horrific knee injury suffered in April 2018. The England international missed out on the World Cup as well as the Champions League final, though he was able to make the field off the bench towards the end of last season, eventually making the bench for Liverpool’s Champions League victory in June.

With some injuries and fatigue to other players, Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first Premier League start in more than a year last Saturday against his former club Southampton, playing 89 minutes in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory. He also started and played the first half in Liverpool’s UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea on penalty kicks.

This deal is ultimately a good-will gesture from both sides, making up for the year lost that Oxlade-Chamberlain endured after the knee injury in the Champions League semifinal. It could take him more time, but Liverpool is certainly hoping that he can make a full recovery and come good for the Reds as it looks to win its first Premier League title, and first top league title in England since 1990.

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks

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There are only two teams with perfect records through the opening two weeks of the new Premier League season, as there continues to be plenty of surprises.

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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.

While you can download the NBC Sports Predictor app (below) and play the Premier League Pick ‘Em game yourself to predict the scores and win the prizes.

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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

Bournemouth 1-3 Man City – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Man United 3-1 Crystal Palace – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Tottenham 3-0 Newcastle – (Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]


DON’T TOUCH THIS…

Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) – [STREAM] 

Brighton 1-1 Southampton – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]

Watford 1-2 West Ham – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

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


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

 

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

Aston Villa 2-1 Everton – (Friday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Wolves 1-2 Burnley – (Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM