High hopes for Seattle as FIFA World Cup returns to U.S. in 2026

FIFA is kicking into high gear for one of the most exciting events to hit the U.S. — the World Cup is returning to America.

With three host countries — the U.S., Canada and Mexico — 60 cities will feature top players from around the globe. The summer of 2026 promises not to disappoint, and U.S. soccer is ready to deliver the ultimate experience, thanks to fan support and the love of the game.

FIFA 2026 will showcase the most teams ever from around the world, giving fans plenty of opportunity to cheer on their favorite country. This is especially the case along the West Coast with a 33-game schedule from Vancouver B.C., to San Francisco, Los Angeles and as far south as Guadalajara, Mexico.

Seattle will host at least six of those matches.

The Emerald City is getting high praise from U.S. Soccer’s top player off the field, JT Batson, CEO of U.S. Soccer Federation.

"Seattle is one of the best soccer towns in America, and I actually believe, in the world. I think the culture here, the history, the infrastructure, obviously, where we are right now is up there with any facility I’ve seen anywhere in the world," said Batson. "And so only the beginning in terms of, you know, obviously great history, but you know, huge upside here and we're excited to be part of it."

And that all starts with the Sounders FC helping make Seattle into Soccertown U.S.A., something head coach Brian Schmetzer knows the community can support.

"The sport, the World Cup, big stage, Seattle being able to host events like this, the country, the three countries being able to host something like this. I think it's just going to be a massive, massive event, and it's certainly a massive event for the Seattle sports scene," said Schmetzer. "And even people that maybe aren't into soccer, they're going to see it when the Swedish [fans] come or Cameroonian comes or whoever we get drawn. I mean, you'll see people coming together, playing soccer, talking soccer, being, you know, good fans. It's going to be great."

According to Batson, Coach Schmetzer is not only a soccer legend in Washington with two MLS titles, but also around the country. Baston truly believes in the power of the sport.

"Our goal is to make soccer the number one sport for the next generation. So that means it's the most played and most accessible sport in all forms," said Batson.

Team U.S.A. has never won a World Cup. Many are hopeful 2026 will finally be the year. The most successful country in the global tournament is Brazil, with a total of five World Cup wins, followed by Germany and Italy, who have four each.


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Make sure to stay with FOX 13 News as we lead up to the 2026 games.