Major League Soccer is calling on its fans to support the USA World Cup Bid Committee, which on Friday, will submit its final bid book to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“MLS is deeply committed to assisting the USA World Cup Bid Committee’s efforts to bring the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup to the United States,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber, who is a member of the USA Bid Committee Board of Directors. “Our bid offers the opportunity to showcase the United States as a vibrant and rising soccer nation, but we need the support of every soccer fan in our country. We are asking all of our fans to sign the petition at goUSAbid.com and show the entire soccer world the level of America’s commitment.”
Beginning with Thursday’s contest between the Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake on ESPN2 (9 p.m. ET), MLS is raising awareness of the bid at all eight matches this week through various electronic platforms.
The league will display a special one-time USA Bid flag prominently on the field before kickoff on Thursday night, and children on the field during pregame ceremonies will wear “The Game Is In US” T-shirts.
For the first time, the double field board at the center line will not feature the “Major League Soccer” logo during this week’s matches, but will instead display USA Bid Committee branding throughout all of the games.
MLSsoccer.com will also feature a front-page sponsorship and unmatched editorial coverage of the bid, and an exclusive video montage of players throughout the league pledging their personal support.
MLS is also using Facebook and Twitter to encourage fans to sign the petition to bring the World Cup back to the United States for the first time since 1994, when crowds averaged 69,000 fans per game and a FIFA World Cup record 3.6 million total fans attended the matches.
The Bid Book is a five-volume, 1,250-page document. The nine competing nations will present alphabetically, leaving the United States with the final slot in the ceremony to present the U.S. Bid Book to FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter at 10:15 a.m. ET on Friday morning in Zurich, Switzerland.
FIFA will announce the host countries for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on Dec. 2.
Among those who will join U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati for the handover ceremony are Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee David Downs, Managing Director John Kristick and U.S. Men’s National Team captain Carlos Bocanegra.
In addition to Garber, the USA Bid Committee Board of Directors also includes Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo owner Philip Anschutz, New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft, Seattle Sounders FC minority owner Drew Carey, Houston Dynamo minority owner Oscar De La Hoya and Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan.