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Women’s World Cup

Here comes the FIFA World Cup

Three cheers for the three nations.

In a long-anticipated vote on Wednesday, the joint bid of the U.S., Mexico and Canada defeated Morocco, its only challenger, as 200 national soccer federations cast their ballots to cap FIFA’s annual Congress.

The three-nation bid captured 134 votes, with Morocco earning 65 from the panel and only Lebanon choosing neither option.

“This is an incredible, and incredibly important, moment for soccer in North America and beyond,” said Carlos Cordeiro, the president of U.S. Soccer.

The 2026 tournament will feature an expanded field of 48 teams — as opposed to recent editions having 32 — and will mark the first time in FIFA’s history that a three-nation bid has been awarded the showpiece event.

The joint bid’s plans call for 60 of the 80 games to be played in the United States — including all matches from the quarterfinals onward — while Canada and Mexico host 10 apiece. The final is expected to be played at MetLife Stadium, just outside New York.

See here and here for the background. I had previously said that if Three Nations won the bid that Houston would get to be a host city, but that’s not quite true, as this story notes:

In an agreement announced when the bid launched last year, the United States will stage 60 of the 80 matches, including all from the quarterfinals on, while Mexico and Canada will get 10 apiece. Twenty-three cities, including Washington and Baltimore, are in the running to become the 16 match venues. In all likelihood, 11 of the 17 proposed U.S. sites will make the cut. A decision is not expected for another two years.


Mexican venues under consideration are Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City. Canada narrowed its list to Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton.

The U.S. metro areas in the running are Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium), Boston (Gillette Stadium), Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium), Dallas (AT&T Stadium), Denver (Sports Authority Field), Houston (NRG Stadium), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl and the new NFL stadium), Miami (Hard Rock Stadium), Nashville (Nissan Stadium), New York (MetLife Stadium), Orlando (Camping World Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), San Jose (Levi’s Stadium), Seattle (Century Link Field) and Washington (FedEx Field).

Given Houston’s track record with Super Bowls and Final Fours, not to mention international friendly soccer matches, I feel good about our chances, but there are no guarantees. In the meantime, US Soccer is involved in a bid for the 2027 Women’s World Cup as well, so who knows, maybe we’ll get a twofer. Slate and ThinkProgress have more.

Saturday video break: The only thing that was missing

Surely you’ve seen Abby Wambach’s amazing last-minute goal that enabled the US Women’s National Team to come back against Brazil:

It was called the most dramatic goal in World Cup history, topping Landon Donovan’s last-minute goal last year against Algeria. It must be noted, however, that the Donovan goal had one thing that the Wambach goal did not: A call by Andres Cantor:

Go here if you want a translation, as if one were needed. I love Ian Darke’s play by play, but some things just can’t be replicated. I mean, with all due respect, this wouldn’t work with Ian Darke:

I think he needs to give MLB a try. Imagine a Cantor-McCarver pairing in the booth. How awesome would that be?

The Women’s World Cup

I’ve been enjoying the Women’s World Cup this year. Being on vacation during the first week of group play meant I got to see more games than I otherwise would have. One thing I’ve noticed is a distinct lack of wankeriffic complaints about how the women’s game is so vastly inferior to the men’s game; such complaints are ubiquitous for women’s basketball. In fact, if George Vecsey is any indication, there’s an appreciation for the women’s game that’s quite refreshing. Maybe I’m just too casual a fan to notice whatever trash talk is going on, but even in that case it’s better than with basketball. Those of you who are more hardcore about soccer than I am, is this the norm?