US Soccer President Sunil Gulati met the media this afternoon to discuss the potential venues for the 2018/2022 World Cups. 70 venues are currently under consideration
Some notes from the press conference:
- The World Cup bid will based out of MLS Headquarters in New York.
- Geographic clustering of venues may be necessary given FIFA’s requirements for start times in the final group games.
- Gulati indicated that he believes LA may have a new stadium by 2018 or 2022 capable of hosting World Cup matches. He did not rule out a return to the Rose Bowl or using the Coliseum.
- A city does not need to have an MLS, WPS or USL team to host matches. Some cities cannot support a team for 15-17 home matches in MLS or USL Gulati stated but may be able to a very good job hosting the World Cup. That statement keeps Detroit and Orlando two cities that hosted 1994 World Cup matches but currently do not have a team in MLS, WPS or USL in strong consideration.
- Gulati repeatedly made reference to the experience hosting World Cup matches in the Pontiac Silverdome in 1994, and indicated that indoor venues are perfectly acceptable and turf can easily be replaced by grass for the tournament.
- Several cities have stadiums under construction or proposed stadiums which will be considered as well.
- Chris Birchall, a midfielder for Trindiad and Tobago who featured prominently in the Soca Warriors 2006 World Cup campaign is reportedly a target of the LA Galaxy according to Tribal Football.
- San Jose is one step closer to a stadium even in these tough economic times: San Jose Mercury News
- Facundo Erpen whose best game in MLS was probably the 2006 MLS All Star game when he did an outstanding job against Chelsea at Toyota Park has signed with Miami FC pending USSF approval.
- FC New York owner Doug Peterson met with the Borough Boys yesterday. Dylan Butler’s piece is linked here. This is a big step for FC NY. Many New York Red Bulls supporters have tried to undermine the credibility of the USL-1 expansion team in the last week stating that this new side is really a Long Island team not a proper city team. But Peterson’s early meeting with the Borough Boys is a good sign that eventually FC New York will establish its fan base within the city limits of New York.
- USL has re-launched its website, which includes a cool semi-interactive map.