FIFA is expected to announce the countries that will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups tomorrow, and the Sounders are planning a viewing party.
Here's the news from the club:
Sounders FC representatives will gather with other leaders of the local sports community on Thursday morning to view the announcement of host nations for the FIFA World Cups in 2018 and 2022. Seattle's official viewing party begins at 6:30 a.m. PT at FX McRory's, located just north of Qwest Field at 419 Occidental Ave. S. The announcement will be made by FIFA President Joseph Blatter at 7 a.m. PT on December 2 in Zurich and will be broadcast live by Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN SportsCenter, ESPN Deportes, CNN International and Univision. Seattle has been identified as an official host city by the USA Bid Committee and will be included in the formal bid book presented to FIFA. On the following day, December 2, FIFA will announce the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Over 1.1 million people have signed up online to support the U.S. bid (www.gousabid.com), including more than 46,000 backing the Emerald City as a site to host matches. The other 17 cities selected by the USA Bid Committee are, in alphabetical order: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa and Washington, D.C.
On the eve of the announcement, general manager Adrian Hanauer was asked what he thinks about the U.S. chances.
"I think the U.S. chances are good," he said. "But it’s a tough competition. Obviously there’s a lot of news about potential alliances going on behind the scenes, and it’s above my pay grade to know what’s true and what’s not in that world. I do know that the U.S. would host an unbelievably great World Cup in 2022. It would be hard for anyone at FIFA to argue that the United States couldn’t stage the most efficient, most lucrative, highest-attended, highest-TV-rated World Cup of any of the nations bidding. But there are a lot more factors. I wish I had the inside scoop, but we’ll see."