Hope Solo on 2026 World Cup: ‘It shouldn’t go to the United States’
Olympic and World Cup champion Hope Solo wants her country to lose one of its biggest soccer contests: Fifas vote on the 2026 World Cup host
Olympic and World Cup champion Hope Solo wants her country to lose one of its biggest soccer contests: Fifas vote on the 2026 World Cup host.
I cant say it should be awarded to Morocco, Solo told the Associated Press. But I dont think it should go to the United States, and that’s hard to say.
By choosing to actively campaign against the US-led North America bid, Solo risks alienating herself further from the soccer community in her homeland. The bid leadership was exasperated when informed Solo was undermining their efforts heading into next Wednesdays vote, dismissing her criticism of the governance of soccer but declining to go on the record in detail.
This is not an isolated eruption against US Soccer. After 202 international appearances, a record for an American goalkeeper, Solo was fired over an outburst at the 2016 Olympics against the opposition and a series of off-the-field controversies. In an attempt to take control of the organization that ostracized her, Solo ran for the US Soccer Federation (USSF) presidency in February. Solo garnered only 1.4% of the vote to finish last out of five candidates.
Her stance is a counterpoint to the championing of the North American World Cup bid by David Beckham in a video released by MLS, where the former England captain is launching a team in Miami. That is only possible because Beckham secured a cut-price deal for an expansion franchise as part of his contract to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
That is not helping the sport in America, Solo said. I want to see promotion-relegation in the NASL and the MLS. Right now its true, you have rich ownership groups owning MLS teams and theyre only getting richer and theyre alienating everybody else.
A new ownership group cant just come in and purchase a team even though they have the financial security, even though they have the commitment. Its controlled by those single individuals at Soccer United Marketing, MLS in particular, [Commissioner] Don Garber.
MLS stridently defended itself against Solos criticism, saying team owners have invested more than $3bn in stadium and training facilities to grow the sport because its a closed league.
The structure that we have has given owners certainty to make that type of investment, MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott told the AP. Had we had a system of promotion and relegation it would not have been possible to generate that level of investment from owners, local communities or private banks that help to fund some of these facilities.
Up to 207 soccer federations will vote next Wednesday in Moscow on whether North America or Morocco should host the 2026 World Cup, or the bidding should be reopened by choosing none of the above.
Hopefully Fifa can stand up and step in and say, If were going to reward you, lets look at everything and point out where you can fix certain things, Solo said.