The U.S. men's national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation, but American soccer just received a massive boost: On the eve of the sport's biggest spectacle, FIFA members voted to award the 2026 World Cup jointly to the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Kansas City's central location, stadium capacity and soccer culture make it a likely host.
"FIFA could not provide a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns that put our city and taxpayers at risk". Those cities won't be announced until 2020, but Kansas City could be one of them.
The four bidding nations were ineligible from voting, while Ghana were not in attendance.
Will the United States, Mexico and Canada all get automatic bids?
Canadian soccer fans, rejoice.
There was a feeling before the world's football associations gathered at the Moscow congress that more might sentimentally favour Morocco's bid, but all the numbers were stacked in North America's favour.
The 2026 World Cup will be hosted by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with the U.S. hosting 60 of the 80 matches.
Calgary's Owen Hargreaves wore England's colours during the World Cup in 2002 and 2006. Canada's sole World Cup appearance was in 1986 in Mexico, where they did not score a goal, losing to France, Hungry and the Soviet Union in the group stage.
The U.S. has submitted 17 cities to host matches, but that list will be narrowed down to 10 by 2021.
Bernier, who is employed by the Montreal Impact as a coach in its youth academy, said the arrival of the tournament in North America and potentially in Montreal will give a boost to young Canadian players with the talent and the drive to play professionally. Whether FIFA also extends this courtesy to Mexico and Canada - the latter a relative nonentity in worldwide soccer that has qualified for just one World Cup in 1986 - remains to be seen.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman headed to Moscow on Thursday to attend the opening of Russia's World Cup 2018.
While Canada has never hosted-or even qualified for-the men's World Cup, it can count on its more experienced co-hosts and current NAFTA partners.
Asked whether one country can host the 48-team behemoth, Infantino said a "big country, yes".
Montreal, Edmonton, and Toronto are contenders for the games played in Canada, although it is not yet determined how many games each city will host.
Catlett expects discussions with U.S. Soccer over Jacksonville's potential role in supporting events to start within the next two to three months.