Tim Howard, who hails from New Jersey, asserted on Thursday that his home state is the clear pick to host the 2026 World Cup Final. He strongly advocated for the match to take place at MetLife Stadium. Not only that, but he claims that the New York and New Jersey region is the best soccer area in North America.

“Growing up here, playing on the streets of New Jersey and watching the World Cup in 1994 – the New York/New Jersey area is the greatest soccer hotbed in North America.

“And we’ve proven that time and time again. In terms of what New York/New Jersey means to the world, the fact that we can host the final – for me it’s an absolute must”, he said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a Premier League mini-pitch in Kearny, New Jersey.

Howard joins New York City Mayor’s push as best soccer area in America

Howard made his name with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars prior to his successful stints with Manchester United and Everton in the Premier League. Now he joins an increasing number of advocates supporting New Jersey as the host site for the game.

Earlier, in May, a joint campaign was launched by New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, aiming to bring the grand spectacle of soccer to the East Coast.

“The biggest stage on the globe, there’s no place like New York/New Jersey, we’re going to bring the World Cup here,” Adams said in Manhattan’s Times Square. “Eight games I believe we’re going to have. We need to have the final here.”

MetLife Stadium has chances at hosting the final

Both Los Angeles (at SoFi Stadium) and Dallas (at AT&T Stadium) have been mentioned as potential hosts for the World Cup final. SoFi, home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, was deemed too narrow by FIFA in the past.

Despite being selected as one of 16 tournament host locations last year, the stadium may not be able to accommodate the championship game following a 63-foot expansion of its breadth.

The Times have pointed out that if the pitch dimensions of SoFi are increased, the stadium’s capacity would drop to just 70,000, much below the 80,000 people that FIFA requires for finals. With that, Howard has a good shot at his dream of having the game played at MetLife Stadium.

Photo: IMAGO / Sportsphoto