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.
The joint bid won 134 votes (67 percent) out of the 203 entitled to vote with Morocco bagging 65 (33 percent) when voting took place in Moscow early on Wednesday.
Leading their charge was Carlos Cordeiro, an Indian who migrated to the United States from Bombay, now Mumbai, when he was just six and rose to become president of United States Soccer Federation. That event set attendance and television viewership records and helped kick-start the rapid growth of men's professional soccer in the country.
Federation Internationale de Football Association overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to support the joint bid between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Canada and Mexico would then host ten games each.
The U.S. will host 60 matches, including all games from the quarter-finals through to the final.
Mexico also played host in 1970 and 1986 but Canada has never done so before.
Canada hosted the 24-team FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015, as well as the Under-20 World Cup in 2007.
North American officials have promised to deliver $14 billion in revenue from the event.
Morocco has largely avoided competing with the North Americans in a dash for cash.
Meanwhile, the U.S. hosted the World Cup previously in 1994 while Mexico hosted it in 1970 and 1986.
"What's changed is that this time the 2026 bids were decided on the floor of the Congress, not in a smoke-filled room where people didn't know whose votes were being traded for what", he said. However, the absence of Italy is strikingly odd while US fans won't get to cheer on Team USA like they did in 2014. "It should be based on the merits of the bid".
An English-led home nations bid for the 2030 World Cup is "definitely on the radar", says former Scottish Football Association boss Stewart Regan. Both the United States and Canada failed to qualify for this year's World Cup.
Willa Frej contributed reporting.