Philly Gets Share of U.S.'s World Cup Bid - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Philly Gets Share of U.S.'s World Cup Bid

Philly makes country's list of 18 possible venues

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    Philly Gets Share of U.S.'s World Cup Bid
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    American soccer got a boost in the 2002 World Cup, when the United States shocked Portugal, Mexico and the world in general by advancing to the quarterfinals. Landon Donovan went on to become a star for the Los Angeles Galaxy, where his teammate is David Beckham.

    Philly is hoping to make the cut to host World Cup soccer. Philly is one of 18 U.S. Metros to be included in the USA's official bid book for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

    “It’s fantastic to see soccer fans in the Philadelphia region unite in an effort to bring this extraordinary sporting event to our region,” said Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “What we at Philadelphia Union have always believed is coming true; Philadelphia has now become a world-class, international soccer City. In a very short time the Philadelphia region has come a long way with Major League Soccer coming to town, major international games this past summer and now being chosen as a potential host city for the greatest sporting spectacle in the world."

    It wasn't clear if the games would be held in Lincoln Financial Field or another venue.

    The bid book will be submitted to FIFA in May of 2010 for a December 2010 decision. Included cities will help plan site visits from FIFA reps in September.

    “The United States is equipped and ready to offer FIFA the opportunity to host a passionate and successful World Cup where fans, teams, partners and media can experience the beautiful game at its highest level while allowing the world soccer family to focus on the utmost mission of the game that benefits the World as a whole,” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer.

    The rest of the cities up for the bid are Dallas Fort-Worth, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa and Washington D.C. If the U.S. wins either the 2018 or 2020 bid, games could be played at venues in all 18 cities.

    “By virtue of the quality of our cities and stadiums, it was very difficult to reduce the field to the maximum of 18 established by FIFA,” said David Downs, Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee. “We consider it a meaningful indicator of the significant growth of soccer in this country that we can put forth such a technically sound bid without four cities that served as hosts for the first FIFA World Cup in the United States in 1994."

    Soccer's biggest stage played out in the States in 1994 when games were played at venues in Los Angeles, Detroit, San Francisco, North Jersey, Orlando, Chicago, Dallas, Boston and D.C.