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Bid Committee Fights to Bring the World Cup to US in 2018 or 2022

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By Sean Garrison

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup  upon us, Americans once again have soccer on their minds. Source: http://www.ussoccer.com/~/media/36D2304689974053896ACA5BAA39B0E2.ashx?w=401Their attention can be attributed to the popular belief that this year will be Team USA's best chance to bring home their very first World Cup. While many Americans might only think about soccer during major events like the World Cup, the majority of countries around the world fiendishly follow the sport year-round. U.S. soccer fanatics are glad that their favorite sport is finally gaining some respect domestically, but many people feel that even more popularity can be gained by bringing the World Cup to America.

In order to make the best possible case for US hosting the world cup, a collection of sports executives, leaders in business, and diplomats, have assembled to form the United States Bid Committee. The committee is populated with such public figures like Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg; Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger; President Clinton's personal advisor, Douglas Band, as well as various executives from ESPN, MLS, among others.

The committee hopes to increase their chances of bringing the most widely followed international tournament to American soil. This is a huge opportunity for the United States to bring together many cultures that all have great interest in the sport. If the United States wins the bid; it would surely be a boost to their international image. "In all my years traveling around the world, I have witnessed soccer as the one thread that many cultures and people have in common," said Band. "The idea of utilizing the most popular sport in the world to drive awareness towards pressing social and environmental issues is important to me on a personal level. Joining the USA Bid Committee  to bring the World Cup back to our country is an honor." The committee aspires to bring the FIFA  World Cup to the U.S. as soon as 2018. Band was likely selected to join the board because of the extensive work he has done with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). Working abroad in hundreds of different countries, he has garnered valuable experience in foreign relations. Along with former President Clinton, Band founded the CGI in 2005. Since then, CGI has reached out to millions across the globe by providing medical assistance, education opportunities, and environmental protection.

The results of the last World Cup held in the United States can still be seen today. Despite complaints from other countries that the US didn't have the requisite fan-base to host the event, the 1994 World Cup had an attendance of 3.6 million- a record which still stands to this day. FIFA argued (and in hindsight, were absolutely right) that by giving the US the opportunity to host the World Cup, it would catalyze the popularity of the sport here. In 1996, less than 2 years following the '94 Cup, Major League Soccer was founded. MLS would likely be a very different enterprise today if it weren't for that hosting opportunity.

The U.S. bid committee is determined to obtain their goal of a U.S. World Cup, and are fastidiously working to make that goal a reality. If the United States lands the bid, it would be a boon to our economy, national image, and soccer both domestically and around the globe.

Sean Garrison is a guest writer for Philly2Philly.com

Sean can be contacted at: seanjgarrison@gmail.com

Source and photo: www.ussoccer.com