Orlando one step closer to becoming 2026 World Cup host city

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The city has been shortlisted by the United Bid Committee, which is coordinating North America's proposal to host.

"Having hosted every FIFA competition other than the FIFA World Cup, Canada has built a strong foundation across the country from which we can now draw on as a member of the United 2026 bid", said Steven Reed, United 2026 board member and Canada Soccer president.

The four Canadian cities are Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Of those, six (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Atlanta, Foxborough and Seattle) have been proposed using venues now used by MLS teams.

Miami, Orlando and Tampa all qualified, as did Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville, for the list of 32 cities - 25 in the United States, four in Canada and three in Mexico.

"The 32 cities that we have identified as potential host cities, on their own and together, are prepared to welcome soccer fans from around the world", he said.

John Kristick, executive director of the United Bid Committee, revealed the number had been narrowed down after a review of each of the communities and facilities on offer. "We will continue to work diligently to finalize our hosting documents so we can bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to our Queen City".

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Canada are yet to stage the World Cup and have only made one appearance to date, making a group exit after three straight defeats at Mexico 1986.

World Cup matches last were held in MI in 1994, when the Pontiac Silverdome was one of nine host venues from across the United States. Other cities could play a role by hosting teams.

US soccer president Sunil Gulati is confident that North America's infrastructure will support their World Cup joint bid.

Not all of the 32 cities will be selected to host games, should the North American bid be selected by Federation Internationale de Football Association, but the United Bid Committee will work with all 32 to finalize hosting plans and documents as it prepares to present its bid for consideration.

The expansion of the event from 32 to 48 teams is thought to have put Morocco at a disadvantage compared with the North American bid.

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