Atlanta United excited about 2026 World Cup


Atlanta United’s Brad Guzan remembers watching the 1994 World Cup while growing up in Chicago.

With Wednesday’s announcement that the U.S., Mexico and Canada will host the 2026 World Cup, Guzan is looking forward to sharing new experiences in the sport with his children.

That’s just one of the benefits that a few of Atlanta United’s players and manager Gerardo Martino said will be a benefit of the U.S. hosting the tournament for just the second time. The first was 1994, won by Brazil.

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“Excited to have it here to see how over the next eight years the sport gets bigger and the league gets bigger,” Guzan said.

Hector Villalba said it’s really important for MLS that the World Cup will be in the U.S. because it will aid its growth. He said one of his first World Cup memories was, on a day so cold in Argentina that he was suffering, watching Maxi Rodriguez score against Mexico in 2006 in Germany.

Martino said hosting the tournament will benefit the U.S. men’s national team, which failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia that starts today, because it will give them extra motivation.

Guzan said it’s too early to predict big things for the team in 2026.

“So much can change in eight years,” he said. “There could be guys we’ve never even heard of involved in national team that are only kids.

“Hopefully there are a few Landons (Donovan) coming through, a few Christians (Pulisic) coming through. Who is to say? We can all dream.”


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