I'm actually surprised this is actually happening. USA along with Canada and Mexico will host the expanded World Cup in 2026.
Even though people are tentative to admit it. Soccer has grown rapidly in both the U.S. and Canada in the last 20 years. MLS teams are starting to hold their own against Mexican teams and we are long ways removed from the MLS being a Mickey Mouse league.
I literally watched the Youtube stream of the FIFA congress. I was nervous, if Qatar could win a bid, certainly Morocco could as well.
I dozed off between 2-3am and again during the last little bit of the vote. Was awake just in time to join the celebration. The thing is, in the end there was really nothing to worry about. The final vote was 134-65 which is about what the score would have been if USA played Morocco in basketball.
For a World Cup / Olympic vote. 69 vote difference is quite a bit. In 2006, Germany edged South Africa by one slim vote.
This is huge for Concacaf and more importantly the three host countries. Now, everyones question becomes, what will happen to the host countries. In past years, the host has always got in not to mention the Champion of the previous World Cup up until 2002 got an automatic bid as well.
I'll be clear on this. If Canada doesn't get an auto bid and fails to qualify, I'll be very disappointed. The smart thing is to let all three teams in.
What might come about with allocated berths is anyones guess. There is also a possibility that CONMEBOL and CONCACAF merge by then as well.
Regardless, this will really help Canada get this program to the next level. Six years ago on Tuesday, Canada played a home World Cup Qualifier against Honduras. They tied 0-0 but it felt like two points lost. Even Stephan Hart said they should have won. To me, that was a turning point in Canadian soccer. Since then, home qualifiers have been games fans expect to win.
Six years later, Canada's talent pool is all ready getting larger. What happened today will only help things as well. The CPL will begin next spring and that is something I'm super excited about.
USA embarrassingly crashed out of World Cup Qualifying, Mexico has lost in the Round of 16 five straight cycles and Canada hasn't been to the World Cup since 1986. All three of those events will have a chance
This is only the beginning, things are going to get bigger... and better.