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World Cup Returning to Chicago?

By Todd McClamroch in News on Feb 21, 2007 4:11PM

2007_02_21_soccer.jpgThe folks over at U.S. Soccer House, in the Prairie Avenue Historical District, have announced their intentions to submit a bid for the 2018 World Cup. The United States hosted a successful World Cup in 1994, which included games at Soldier Field. The World Cup took place last summer in Germany and will next be played in South Africa in 2010. The 2014 World Cup is expected to go to a South American country, though there have been rumors the United States could be a backup if South American nations are unable to build the proper infrastructure.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati stated, "All of the reasons FIFA chose the U.S. in '94 have been validated: the growth of sport in the U.S. has been terrific since then; the number of potential venues in the U.S. has grown exponentially since then; world class stadiums; infrastructure; growth of the game; we're much more involved in the international soccer scene than 20 years ago."

Chicagoist would hope Chicago would be selected to host some matches if the United States were selected. We are excited about the prospects of Chicago being a part of two huge sporting events, the Summer Olympics in 2016 and the World Cup in 2018.

In other soccer news the Chicago Fire are preparing for their 2007 campaign with some preseason tune-ups in which they have gone 3-1-1. The team was expected to spend 13 days training in Spain, but that trip was cancelled due to logistical reasons. They will instead move from Bradenton, FL, to Carson, CA, later this week. They also will have short preseason stints in Norman, OK, and Ridgeland, MS.

Last week, rumors were being floated that Zinedine Zidane might be headed to the MLS and more specifically, Chicago. However, recent reports are saying that Zidane is not likely to sign with the Fire. Red Card asked Coach Dave Sarachan if the Fire were still likely to sign a designated player this year, to which he said they likely will. With Zidane out of the picture, Chicagoist is anxious to see who that player will be.

Image by Flickr (Juan23).