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Chasing the American dream...


No country in the world has more large, well-equipped stadiums, and no country has ever hosted bigger crowds than when the USA last hosted the World Cup in 1994, even with less games played under the old format.

Yet Fifa, in their quest to have the beautiful game mean more than just a commercial enterprise, has not been inclined to grant the 2022 World Cup to the United States merely because it could make a lot of money.

What the USA bid lacks is the intangible elements of history, as it would not be so groundbreaking to hold the tournament there again. It also lacks the traditional soccer culture of many countries, as the game is not one of the nation's main obsessions, though it has grown exponentially in popularity since 1994.

Why they could win it



South Korea

Fifa already knows that a 2022 USA host would make money. The world knows that fans could find plentiful accommodations, reliable transportation and organized security at stadiums. The infrastructure of the USA is unparalleled in its ability to pull off big events like a World Cup.

What might surprise people is how game tickets that were more easily available to visitors in 1994 would be snapped up quickly in 2022 by Americans. More Americans bought tickets to the past two World Cup tournaments than any other (non-host) country.

The domestic league, Major League Soccer, has grown to attract big stars like David Beckham and Thierry Henry, continues to add clubs in new cities and has developed its own stars, like Landon Donovan.

The sport of soccer has huge participation in the USA, and is in fact the top organized activity nationally for millions of children, such as those of President Barack Obama.

Immigrant populations in the USA help create an especially rich and varied soccer landscape that is mirrored in both the national team and the country at large. On any weekend, fans can and do watch and enjoy matches from around the world - England, Germany, Italy, Mexico and South America being some of the favourites.

This has helped propel the men's team to results that make the USA, if not yet a true contender in the sport - at least a respectable opponent in Fifa tournaments such as the 2009 Confederations Cup, where they finished second to Brazil, or 2010, where they topped their World Cup group for the first time in history. The celebrations launched around the nation when Donovan's late goal sealed the USA's advancement out of the group helped change perceptions about the excitement Americans feel for the game.

All this combines to combat fears that a 2022 USA World Cup would be a commercially bright, yet soulless affair, devoid of the passion and appreciation another site would generate.

Why they might not win it

The USA is not a popular choice among many who resent the country for its political and economic might. The country will never be considered an underdog, and that plucky, endearing idea that another country would be much more grateful if given the chance to host remains.

Obliquely, the USA has been tainted by a recent bribing scandal when media members from Britain posed as USA officials and promised Fifa voting members financial favours in return for votes. Two apparently agreed and are now suspended and being investigated.

It could be that those members were planning to vote for the USA even before they were approached, and just looked to benefit from that choice. Now, however, any Fifa member wanting to 'prove' they are not corrupt could feel compelled to vote against the American bid, even if no evidence ever emerges that members from the USA committee ever offered any such compensation.


The star of the bid

President Bill Clinton is a powerful and charismatic world figure that brought a great deal of credibility to the USA bid when he personally attended the USA team's World Cup games in South Africa and was cheering wildly when the Americans scored against Algeria.

Clinton later showed some of that common touch he is famous for, meeting and sharing a beer with the USA squad.

Clinton is joined in the USA Bid committee by a number of American icons in the media and sport, including actor Brad Pitt, soccer star Mia Hamm, politician Henry Kissinger, director Spike Lee and boxer Oscar De La Hoya.

USA Bid Committee Chairman and US Soccer President, Sunil Gulati * USA Bid Committee Honorary Chairman, President William Jefferson Clinton * USA Bid Committee Vice Chairman, Carlos Cordeiro * Founding Partner Major League Soccer, Philip Anschutz * Counsellor to President Clinton, Douglas Band * Mayor, New York City, Michael Bloomberg * Host, Price is Right, Drew Carey * Boxer & Founder Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya * US Men's National Team Player, Landon Donovan * US Soccer CEO and General Secretary, Dan Flynn * US Soccer Foundation President, Ed Foster-Simeon * Actor, Morgan Freeman * Major League Soccer Commissioner, Don Garber * US Women's National Team former player, Mia Hamm * Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, FOX Sports Media Group, David Hill * President and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, Robert Iger * Former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger * New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft * Writer, director, actor, producer & author, Spike Lee * President & CEO, AEG, Timothy Leiweke * Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi * Actor & Producer, Brad Pitt * Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger * President of the University of Miami, Donna Shalala * Executive Vice President, Content, ESPN, John Skipper * Univision CEO, Joe Uva * Chairman & Chief Executive Officer - Wasserman Media Group, Casey Wasserman * The Washington Post, Publisher and Washington Post Media CEO, Katharine Weymouth

Sepp says:

"USA 1994 was the first World Cup, and so far the only one, where all the tickets were sold. So this is a good legacy of the organisational skill of the United States"
- July 2009

How USA might line up in 2022:


Agbossoumonde, Brooks

Najar, McInerney, Gil, Hyndman

Agudelo, Altidore, Doyle

Allen Ramsey, Goal USA

"Here's the deal with the USA bid: Obviously, the United States is not a giant among footballing nations and hosted the World Cup as recently as 1994, so it may seem unfair to have it again in 2022. Fifa says the US has issues with not having the support of the government. And the competition is stiff for the World Cup.

"But unlike most countries, the USA could host the World Cup next week. The stadiums are in place, the places to stay are plentiful, the training grounds are world class and the amount of reliable airports makes the travel into and out of the country less of a worry.
“The USA could host the World Cup next week. The stadiums are in place, the training grounds are world class and the airports reliable”

"In other words, the World Cup would not be a burden on the USA economically or otherwise, which should make the US the front-runners to host the event. Obviously, it won't sit well with everybody and there are some drawbacks - such as public transportation issues in some major cities - but as is stated above, the USA knows how to host massive events. The US has the room and the infrastructure to handle the job now, much less 12 years from now.

"And somebody should tell Fifa that the USA government would love to have another World Cup here, as the resolution supporting the bid from the US House of Representatives indicates."