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U.S. host cities for 2026 World Cup move to next stage with FIFA

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U.S. host cities for the 2026 World Cup have met with FIFA as 17 potential host cities needs to be whittle down to 10.

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FIFA have held workshops with all host cities for the first-ever 48-team World Cup tournament, with three host cities from each of Canada and Mexico previously meeting with world soccer’s governing body.

As a reminder, 80 games will be played at the 2026 World Cup with 60 games scheduled to be played in the USA and 10 in each of Canada and Mexico.

The latest workshop was to make sure all of the host cities bids were on track and the next step is for individual meetings with each potential host city as the host cities will be named in 2021.

This also suggests that any reemergence of Vancouver and Chicago as host cities is well and truly over as FIFA moves to the next stage of selecting host cities for the tournament.

Here’s more from FIFA:

Confirming the high level of interest sparked by the FIFA World Cup across the three host nations, today’s interactive online workshop gathered all 17 candidate host cities from the USA and followed on from meetings with all Mexican and Canadian candidate host cities held earlier this year in Mexico City and Toronto, respectively.

Representatives from the following 23 candidate host cities attended the workshops:

Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto

Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey

Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington DC.

So, the show goes on as the World Cup in six years time will be one of the biggest, and greatest, sporting events the world has ever seen.

Previously at ProSoccerTalk we’ve ranked where the 17 U.S. cities lie in terms of how likely they are to become officials hosts.

Here’s a reminder of that list, and feel free to reveal your own rankings in the comments below. Remember, only 10 U.S. cities will become hosts for the 2026 World Cup.

Ranking potential 2026 World Cup venues

Host cities
1. New York/New Jersey
2. Los Angeles (Rose Bowl Stadium or new Inglewood NFL stadium)
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Miami
5. Seattle
6. Atlanta
7. San Francisco/Bay Area
8. Dallas
9. Boston
10. Denver

Missing out
11. Kansas City
12. Philadelphia
13. Houston
14. Nashville
15. Orlando
16. Baltimore
17. Cincinnati

Mexico boss: Jimenez should move to Man United, if he leaves Wolves

Raul Jimenez Manchester United
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Mexico boss Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has said Raul Jimenez should move to Manchester United, if he leaves Wolves.

Jimenez, 29, has been consistently linked with a move to Manchester United, Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid and other European giants and the in-form striker has scored 24 goals in all competitions for the Premier League side this season.

Now his El Tri boss has weighed in on the speculation and speaking to ESPN show Futbol Picante, Martino said he would prefer Raul Jimenez to join Manchester United over Juventus if he left Wolves.

“Looking at it from the outside today I cannot see a specialist No. 9 like Raul at United,” Martino said. “There are many forwards like [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial and the boy who now plays as right winger: [Mason] Greenwood but since Romelu Lukaku left I can’t see a pure No. 9 like Raul. At Juventus he will have more of a fight because [Cristiano] Ronaldo shares the inside of the pitch with whoever plays alongside him, with [Paulo] Dybala or with [Gonzalo] Higuain and maybe he has a tougher fight there.”

Martino went on to state that he wants Jimenez to do whatever he feels happiest doing and moving to a ‘super club’ doesn’t always work out, as he knows from his one season in charge of Barcelona. Martino also brought up the fact that Jimenez has been at Atletico Madrid and Benfica before and that didn’t really work out, so perhaps staying at Wolves is best for Mexico’s star striker.

“Maybe he wants a bigger challenge because he feels that he is in good shape and has to take advantage of it, maybe he wants to stay in this place, maybe the options you read about are not real and do not exist,” Martino said. “I think the best thing is for Raul to make the decision based on the analysis he makes and with the consensus of his family because, when it comes to enjoying, not only the player suffers and enjoy, but also the family do it.”

Jimenez will be linked with plenty of top clubs this summer and he hasn’t exactly slammed the door on links to some of Europe’s big boys in the past. His manager at Wolves, Nuno Espirito Santo, responded to Martino’s comments by saying: “It’s not the moment to think about anything else. I’m sure Raul is totally, 100% focused on what he has to do at Wolves.”

Since he arrived at Wolves in the summer of 2018 he’s scored 41 goals in 92 games in all competitions and has become one of the top central strikers in the Premier League. His hold-up and link-up play is envied across the league and Martino is right, he would fit in well at Man United as Anthony Martial could move out wide.

Manchester United probably don’t need to sign another striker, though, so Jimenez heading to Juve or one of the Spanish giants makes more sense. Watch this space.

Report: Mexico’s Lozano kicked out of Napoli training

Hirving Chucky Lozano
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Mexico star Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano was reportedly kicked out of Napoli training due to a lack of effort and he is now free to leave the Serie A club.

Lozano, 24, has not been a regular for Napoli under manager Gennaro Gatusso this season and there have been multiple reports linking him with a move away from the Serie A giants.

According to a Corriere dello Sport report on Lozano, ‘Chucky’ will be allowed to leave Napoli as he isn’t in Gatusso’s plans. The report says he was ‘apathetic’ during training on Monday and was told to leave, as Napoli play in the Coppa Italia final against Juventus in Rome on June 17.

Lozano joined Napoli in a club-record $42 million transfer from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2019 and has had a largely disappointing first season in Naples.

Since Gatusso arrived in December he’s been limited to appearances off the bench and he’s scored twice and added three assists in 28 appearances in all competitions.

Where could he end up?

Lozano was linked with Man City and Liverpool in the past but it has been reported that both Everton and Man United are interested in signing the Mexican winger this summer. Everton would make sense as the man who brought him to Napoli, Carlo Ancelotti, is now the Toffees manager.

The El Tri star clearly doesn’t want to be at Napoli and Napoli don’t want him, so a move makes sense. That said, it doesn’t seem likely that Napoli will recoup the majority of the $42 million they spent on Lozano last summer. Perhaps a loan move makes sense for everyone?

2020 Golden Boy award shortlist announced

Golden Boy award shortlist
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The 2020 Golden Boy award shortlist includes Americans for the first time in two years, as two USMNT prospects were named amongst the top 100 players under the age of 21 in Europe’s top leagues.

Tuttosport has named Ajax’s Sergio Dest and Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna to the shortlist for the award. The last Americans to make the shortlist were Timothy Weah and Christian Pulisic in 2018.

Dest, 19, was recently named Ajax Talent of the Year and has already earned 35 senior appearances for the club with two goals and six assists. He’s thrice capped by the USMNT.

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Reyna, 17, has become a fixture in the Dortmund XI for Lucien Favre, regularly coming off the bench and displaying a knack for drawing fouls and tidy passing. The son of USMNT legend Claudio Reyna, “Gio” has a goal and an assist in 16 first team appearances.

Canada’s American-born Jonathan David (Gent) and Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) also make the cut, as does Mexican forward Diego Lainez (Real Betis).

Joao Felix beat Jadon Sancho to the 2019 honors, and it would be stunning if Reyna or Dest got much further in the process given the young talent on show this season. Erling Haaland and Sancho of Borussia Dortmund will be two of the favorites to emerge with the top billing.

Premier League talent everywhere

Starting with the first name on the alphabetical list, Premier League clubs made an impressive showing in the top 100.

Max Aarons of Norwich City is joined by Tino Anjorin (Chelsea), Angel Gomes (Manchester United), Trae Coyle (Arsenal), Phil Foden (Man City), Eric Garcia (Man City), James Garner (Man Utd), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolves), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Mason Greenwood (Man Utd), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham), Sepp van den Berg (Liverpool).

List of the top 100 most valuable players released

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A list of the top 100 most valuable players in in the world has been released and it is very interesting reading with plenty of surprise inclusions and omissions.

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The fantastic crew over at the Football Observatory have once again calculated the transfer value of players based on many factors including the length of their current contract, age and buyout clauses and there are some surprising emissions from the top 100 and the top 50.

The study calculates the current value of players during the coronavirus pandemic and focuses on the top 20 most valuable stars in each of Europe’s top five leagues.

Overall, the Premier League dominates the list with six of the top 10 and 10 of the top 20 most valuable players in England’s top-flight. For Canadian fans, teenager sensation Alphonso Davies is in the top 10, while Mexico’s fans will be happy to see Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano is in at 86.

What about Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi? Well they are usually right at the top of any list like this but due to their age (Messi is 32 and Ronaldo is 35) they rank way down on this list.

Below is the list in full as a glance through this list also suggest the English and French national teams have a very bright future five of the top 10 stars for the Three Lions.

Top 100 most valuable players in world (prices listed in GBP)

1. Kylian Mbappe – 231.2 million
2. Raheem Sterling – 173.6m
3. Jadon Sancho – 159.7m
4. Trent Alexander-Arnold – 152.6m
5. Marcus Rashford – 135.8m
6. Mohamed Salah – 129.2m
7. Sadio Mane – 124.1m
8. Antoine Griezmann – 121.6m
9. Alphonso Davies – 119m
10. Harry Kane – 105.8m

11. Roberto Firmino – 105.7m
12. Bernardo Silva – 102.5m
13. Gabriel Jesus – 100.8m
14. Joao Felix – 96.2m
15. Erling Haaland – 95.7m
16. Serge Gnabry – 95.2m
17. Bruno Fernandes – 93.5m
18. Matthijs de Ligt – 93.4m
19. Mason Mount – 91.4m
20. Frenkie de Jong – 91m

21. Rodri – 90.5m
22. Lionel Messi – 89.3m
23. Lautaro Martinez – 88.2m
24. Virgil van Dijk – 87.8m
25. Saul Niguez – 87.1m
26. Richarlison – 87.0m
27. Joshua Kimmich – 86.2m
28. Kai Havertz – 84.4m
29. Andy Robertson – 84.0m
30. Romelu Lukaku – 80.5m

31. Timo Werner – 80.5m
32. Marquinhos – 79.5m
33. Ederson – 77.4m
34. Alisson – 75.1m
35. Mikel Oyarzabal – 74.2m
36. Clement Lenglet – 73.9m
37. Neymar – 73.7m
38. Rodrygo – 72.6m
39. Fabian Ruiz – 72.2m
40. Achraf Hakim – 70.4m

41. Youri Tielemans – 69.7m
42. Dele Alli – 69.5m
43. Kepa – 68.1m
44. Benjamin Pavard – 67.9m
45. Julian Brand – 67.9m
46. Philippe Coutinho – 67.5m
47. Robert Lewandowski – 67.4m
48. Rodrigo Bentancur – 66.2m
49. Arthur Melo – 63.8m
50. Nicolo Zaniolo – 62.5m

Below are 50-100 via our partners at Sky Sports