Does the U.S. Have a Better Chance of Winning the 2022 World Cup Than One This Summer?

↵Well, the answer to that question, simply, is yes. By 2022, the United States will have a much more robust infrastructure and far deeper talent pool to put together a World Cup roster. The team may be good this year, but in another 12 years, the program will be that much stronger. ↵

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↵With so much talk about the 2010 World Cup dominating this week's headlines (at least in the soccer world) today is more about the future, as potential host countries have lined up – literally, in 15-minute intervals – to present their official bid books to FIFA for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. ↵

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↵The bid books contain everything the committee will need to know about each host proposal in advance of a round of site visits that will take place from July through September, including nuts and bolts documentation like the involvement of the national and local governments, stadium and site-specific information, and likely as much lipstick as you can put on a 1,250-page pig. ↵

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↵Yes, the United States is submitting a bid book that is 1,250 pages long, absolutely crushing the 750-page leaflet the Australians have handed in. Oh, but according to Soccer America, each country is really trying to out-do the others: ↵

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↵⇥England’s bid book runs 1,752 pages. South Korea's weighs 551 pounds. Australia’s documentation is bound in kangaroo leather.

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↵⇥Qatar’s 20-chapter bid book contains the details of what would be the first carbon-neutral World Cup, utilizing sustainable technologies and cooling systems for all stadiums, fan zones and training grounds to be air-conditioned. ↵⇥

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↵Who says print is dead. ↵

↵There are four countries bidding for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, two countries bidding for just the 2018 Cup and three for just the 2022 Cup. In the running for the 2018 Cup are: United States, Australia, England, Russia, Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain. ↵

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↵In the running for the 2022 Cup are: United States, Australia, England, Russia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea. ↵

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↵Some stars have come out to present the books to FIFA. The U.S. sent current USMNT captain Carlos Bocanegra to lead the pitch. The Netherlands-Belgium bid is led by Johan Cruyff and Ruud Gullit. England sent some guy named Beckham. ↵

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↵⇥Australia was followed by an England bid team fronted by David Beckham, who said his country had passion for football in its veins and a diverse population which would welcome the world. ↵⇥

↵⇥[FIFA president Sepp] Blatter described England as "the motherland of football," and said new British Prime Minister David Cameron called him on Thursday offering government support for the bid. ↵⇥

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↵⇥Blatter dropped several hints that England should focus on hosting in 2018, and teased bid leaders whether they meant to include "2022" on the cover of the bid book. ↵⇥

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↵It's widely thought that after two World Cups outside of Europe – This year's tournament in South Africa and the 2014 tournament in Brazil – the 2018 Cup will go to a European bid, leaving the United States and Australia on the outside looking in at 2018. That said, if a European bid is selected to host the 2018 Cup, the remaining European bids will be ineligible to host the 2022 Cup. In other words, England and Russia have basically no shot at 2022 and, as it seems, the United States has little shot at 2018. ↵

↵So, the United States is fighting to host the 2022 World Cup against Australia, Japan, South Korea and Qatar. With Korea and Japan combining to host the 2002 World Cup and the United States last hosting in 1994, that could bode well for the home side. Of course, Australia and Qatar have never hosted a Cup, so if FIFA is looking to spread the game to other parts of the World, the U.S. could end up zero-for-two. ↵

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↵Having said that, the United States should be the front-runner for the 2022 Cup – even if their book isn't stuffed inside the skin of a dead kangaroo – based on the growth of the game and the level of interest since 1994 as well as the current logistical infrastructure the U.S. bid provides. ↵

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↵Both hosts will be announced on December 2. Here's a clip of Spike Lee and David Downs of the USA Bid Committee, on GMA earlier this week, urging FIFA to, ahem, do the right thing. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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