The U.S. could have gone it alone trying to host the 2026 World Cup, but it is seeking goodwill from Federation Internationale de Football Association and its neighbors by joining forces with Mexico and Canada.
US Soccer Federation chief Sunil Gulati, who announced the bid in NY with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts, insisted they had the full backing of President Donald Trump, despite the US leader's rocky relations with Mexico.
The three nation bid will allow the three countries to host games for the 2026 edition of the World Cup.
Of the 80 games, 60 will be played in America, with Mexico and Canada each hosting ten each.
The bid also comes at a time while the current US president, Donald Trump, has implemented an aggressive stance on immigration enforcement and wants to build a wall at the US-Mexico border. "The President of the United States is fully supportive and encouraged us to have this joint bid. Starting today, the U.S. gets back control of its borders", Trump said.
"So we're not at all concerned about some of the issues that other people may raise".
North America last held a men's World Cup in 1994, when it was hosted by the US.
Mexico has hosted the World Cup twice before - the 1970 finals won by a Pele-inspired Brazil and the 1986 tournament won by an Argentina team led by Diego Maradona.
South America and Africa can rival the US -led bid, though Brazil hosted in 2014 and South Africa in 2010.
Representatives from the United States Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Federation announced that the 2026 competition, which will feature 48 nations for the first time, will also see the tournament potentially hosted in three different countries for the first time.
Some reports have suggested that Morocco, which failed in bids for four previous World Cups, could team up with Spain and possibly Portugal in a joint bid.
The officials said the three-country bid would save money and help each country promote football at home. On that occasion, Japan and South Korea split the games 50-50, with the Yokohama Stadium in Japan holding the final. "It's FIFA's decision. Every men's World Cup has been played on grass".
"A good signal to the rest of the world is that this can be done without necessarily building infrastructure or venues specifically for one event", Gulati said.
It looks like the US and CONCACAF know it.
Among the possible venues in the U.S. are MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (82,500 capacity, opened in 2010); AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (80,000, 2009); Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California (68,500, 2014); Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts (66,000, 2002); and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia (69,500 in 2003).