The US finalized its list of bid cities a couple weeks ago. Dallas, Philly, and Houston all made the cut. Hard to think how Dallas couldn’t with the new, ever-soccer-friendly Cowboys Stadium. Surprise omissions include Chicago and San Francisco.
Here’s the map of what spots will comprise the USA bid for World Cup 2018/22:
It’s getting easier to describe to Americans the impact of the World Cup — especially the impact it will have in Africa, where the tournament is to be held this summer. A few years ago, Ivory Coast was splitting apart and in the midst of civil war when its national team qualified for the 2006 jamboree. The response was so ecstatic that the war was largely put on hold as something more important than deathly combat took place, i.e. a soccer match. The team became a symbol of how the different tribes could — and did — get on after the tournament was over.
This time round, for the 2010 World Cup, naysayers thought South Africa could not build the stadiums in time. Those critics should be red-faced now. South Africa’s impressive preparations underline the changes on the continent, where over the last few years, 5 percent economic growth was the average. Signs point to a further decade of growth to come. Canny investors will put more capital there. This in turn has the potential to shore up fragile young democracies across the continent.
Discovered something interesting while home in Dallas for the holidays … my brother-in-law has a niece who apparently takes her soccer pretty seriously. And her team: The Reds.
She’s very proud to play on Liverpool. My first guess was this has to be some sort of Tom Hicks gig. Sure enough — Liverpool FC America, “combining the traditions of Liverpool with the pride of Texas”.
Brilliant concept, really … considering how many bajillions of American kids play soccer, it’s a shame that none of us were taught about the greatness of the EPL until after our own play had been relegated to the Sega/Playstation/Xbox leagues. But now, American youth soccer players come with a team to root for right from the pre-pubescent git-go.
Will be interesting to see if this catches on and expands. I’d so want my (theoretical) children to go to Aston Villa Goalie Camp, for example.
UPDATE: Everton has something similar (out of Connecticut, I believe):
You know, maybe women’s college football really should think about going the hockey route … because while the following behavior is “inexcusable”, I gotta think the ferocity of the hard-fouling chick brutality in and of itself makes me more likely to watch BYU in their conference championship this weekend: