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USA Bid Committee Thanks Congressional Soccer Caucus for Support of Bid to Host FIFA World Cup

NEW YORK (December 10, 2009) – The USA Bid Committee issued the following statement of thanks today for a Congressional resolution introduced on Tuesday, December 8 by the bipartisan leadership of the Congressional Soccer Caucus. The resolution congratulates the Unites States Men’s National Soccer Team on securing a berth in the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and was accompanied by a letter to every member of Congress that included a message of support to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to the United States in 2018 or 2022 in addition to the congratulatory message.

“We are extremely thankful for the support we have received from the Congressional Soccer Caucus and their ongoing efforts to support the sport of soccer,” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “I would like to thank especially the four co-chairs of the Congressional Soccer Caucus for their initiative as well as all they do to demonstrate the importance our Congress places on the role of soccer in this country and abroad. They share our passion and vision for the incredible impact that a World Cup would have on the United States at this stage of the sport’s development in our country.”

The resolution and letter were brought forth by the four co-chairs of the Congressional Soccer Caucus: Representatives Chris Van Hollen (Dem. - MD), Mary Bono Mack (Rep. - CA), George Miller (Dem. - CA), and David Reichert (Rep. - WA). The Congressional Soccer Caucus sent the letter of support for the U.S. Men’s National Team and the USA Bid Committee to every member of Congress in an effort to encourage their support for both the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team and the broader vision and goals set by the caucus.

The mission of the Congressional Soccer Caucus is to encourage legislation, activities and events that promote soccer and issues affecting the greater soccer community. Its goals include satisfying the increasing demand for playing fields as well as support for the use of soccer as a vehicle for building communities, developing healthy lifestyles in children, and cultivating leadership and teamwork skills.

The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022.

All candidates must have their bid applications to FIFA by May 14, 2010. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.

The USA Bid Committee’s efforts have earned the enthusiastic support of President Barack Obama, who in April reached out to FIFA – the world's governing body of soccer – to endorse the goal of bringing the world’s largest sporting event back to the United States. In a letter to FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, President Obama noted the role soccer played in his life as a youth, and its ability to unite people, communities and nations from every continent.

On Monday, July 27, Obama and Blatter met at the White House to discuss the U.S. bid and other soccer-related topics. The meeting was marked by Blatter confirming his invitation for President Obama to be his guest at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. President Obama has expressed his interest in attending the event pending availability on his schedule.

A delegation from the U.S. Soccer Federation and the USA Bid Committee returned to the United States this week from a trip to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Final Draw. One of just seven nations to participate in all six World Cups since 1990, the United States Men’s National Team was placed in Group C with England, Algeria and Slovenia. The first match of the 2010 World Cup for the United States will be against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, South Africa. The United States earned its place among the field of 32 for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa by capturing the top spot in the final round standings in CONCACAF.

The USA Bid Committee recently released a study conducted by an independent consulting firm that estimates a conservative domestic economic impact of five billion dollars if the United States is chosen to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. The findings of the study indicate that the total economic impact projected for any one host city ranges from approximately $400 million to $600 million at today’s dollar value. The analysis also estimates that between 65,000 and 100,000 total new jobs would be created in the various host cities during the preparation and operation of the tournament in the year of the event. The study was undertaken by the Economics practice at AECOM, formerly Economics Research Associates (ERA), the world’s leading international sports and entertainment attraction consulting firm.

Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for soccer in the USA for more than 95 years as the governing body of the sport. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been simple and clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a pre-eminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels. To that end, the sport’s growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable as U.S. Soccer’s National Teams have continually succeeded on the world stage while also growing the game here in the United States with the support of its members.

The USA Bid Committee is a non-profit organization created to prepare a successful application to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022 on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation. The Bid Committee will submit its comprehensive bid to FIFA by May 2010, with FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee making a decision in December 2010. Members of the USA Bid Committee in alphabetical order include Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy owner Philip Anschutz, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, comedian and Seattle Sounders FC part-owner Drew Carey, former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman (Asia) Carlos Cordeiro, U.S. Men’s National Team player Landon Donovan, Executive Director David Downs, U.S. Soccer CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati, U.S. Women’s National Team former player Mia Hamm, Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert Iger, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, ESPN Executive Vice President for Content John Skipper, Univision CEO Joe Uva and Washington Post CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth. For more information, visit