The Lede: What does hosting World Cup mean for Canadian soccer?


The 2026 World Cup is coming to North America, but what will it mean for Canadian soccer? Jeff and Stephen chat with former U.S. men’s goalkeeper and current FOX soccer analyst Tony Meola about the impact the 1994 World Cup had on the game and the top players in the United States, and whether Canada’s squad will be more prepared to compete on home soil than the U.S. was.

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OPEN – The World Cup is coming to North America in 2026, but it was the NASL that started it all in the 1970s.

3:00 – The question after the NASL collapsed was “Will North Americans watch a sport where there is no scoring and no violence?”

4:00 – The 1994 World Cup in the United States set the groundwork for MLS and now 2026

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6:45 – Stephen tells a story about the Bulgarian press from the 1994 World Cup quarterfinal match versus Germany

“So they are in Giants Stadium, there’s 80,000 seats. There’s 79,800 people cheering for Germany. There are no Bulgarians there to speak of. Except the four guys …. the entire Bulgarian press contingent is sitting in front of me in the press box there. They’re all wearing matching identical cowboy hats that say Dallas City Marshall on the front. Cause clearly in their first stop they bough cowboy hats.”

9:50 – Why the 1994 World Cup was important.

12:45 – Tony Meola joins the show from Red Square in Russia to talk about the 2026 World Cup, what it could mean to North America, the lasting impact of the 1994 World Cup in the United States, Russia as a host nation and the type of growth we can expect in North America over the next eight years.

31:20 – Canada hasn’t made the World Cup since 1986. Is Canada soccer now where the U.S. soccer was pre-1994?

33:15 – What needs to happened over the next 4 to 8 years for Canada to be ready to compete against the world?

Episode 3: United Edition
June 19 2018


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