After a vote at the FIFA Congress Wednesday morning, the United 2026 bid--a joint host between the United States, Mexico and Canada--will host the 2026 World Cup. Philadelphia was one of the 23 host cities submitted with the bid. Members of the Philadelphia host committee gathered this week to celebrate United 2026. From left to right: Larry Needle (Executive Director, PHL Sports), Chris Branscome (CEO, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer), David Montgomery (Chairman, PHL Sports), Julie Coker Graham (President/CEO, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau), Haris Medunjanin (Midfielder, Philadelphia Union), Doug Pederson (Head Coach, Philadelphia Eagles), Richard Groff (Past President, U.S. Adult Soccer Association), Tim McDermott (Chief Business Officer, Philadelphia Union), Mayor Jim Kenney (Mayor, City of Philadelphia) and Don Smolenski (President, Philadelphia Eagles).
They Said It...
“The United Bid was a winning formula from the very beginning – relying on the strength of all of the North American partners involved and highlighting the incredible assets we already have in place to successfully stage the World Cup on our continent,” said Larry Needle, executive director of PHL Sports, a business development division of the PHLCVB. “Our Philadelphia team – including the City, Eagles, Union, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and many others – is very proud to be a part of the process and extends our warmest congratulations to the United Bid Committee and leadership from the U.S., Mexican and Canadian soccer federations on this tremendous and hard-fought victory.”
"We all know what hosting the World Cup in 1994 did for soccer in the United States: it legitimized the sport on a national scale and brought the game to millions of new families," said Branscome. "I have no doubt 2026 will have a similar effect. Considering how far we've come since 1994, locally and globally, that's an exciting prospect. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer looks forward to the next eight years as we help U.S. Soccer and, hopefully, the city of Philadelphia prepare to host the world."
“Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly
united through sport,” Carlos Cordeiro, President of U.S. Soccer and Co-Chair of the United Bid, said in a press release from U.S. Soccer & the United Bid. "We are humbled by the trust our colleagues in the FIFA family have put in our bid; strengthened by the unity between our three countries and the CONCACAF region; and excited by the opportunity we have to put football on a new and sustainable path for generations to come.”