Dateline New York, July 2026 – In front of a crowd of over 80 thousand fans, and over 3 billion around the world, in the final match of the World Cup, the United States National men’s soccer team defeats the United Republic of Korea 2-0 to win their first ever world cup. Led by their Captain Christian Pulisic’s goal and assist, the US started fast and finished strong. Pulisic the 27-year old “wundermann” who first played for the USA as a17 year old phenomenon is now an annual contender for the Golden Boot award as the best player in Europe.
That’s not a fake news headline but a hopeful future one, now that the World Cup soccer tournament will be returning to North America in 8 years. The draw of the American dollar (more money for TV rights to the 2018 tournament in US than any other nation), and an already existing infrastructure of World Class stadiums and hospitality was something FIFA (Federation of International Football –soocer- Associations) could not pass on when it awarded the tournament to the combined bid of USA, Mexico and Canada in June 2018. (Some think they should have hosted this quadrennial tournament in 2022 instead of Qatar!)
In 8 more years, don’t be surprised if media refers to the tournament as the “Cannabis Cup” since Canada is just weeks away from national legalization of the controversial crop, and the USA is moving towards a schedule reclassification, that could come sooner than later. By the way, I’m not sure which is more unbelievable, that soccer in America is getting the respect it deserves, or that cannabis legalization is supported by over 60% of Americans! (And now the World Health Organization of the United Nations has called cannabis a “relatively safe effective drug.”
I’ve always dreamed of the day when the United States could field a national team of men’s soccer players that could compete for the World Cup with the greatest “futbol” nations of Brazil, Germany, and Italy (13 of 21 Cup Titles among those 3 nations). Even though the US failed to qualify (So did Italy!) for the tournament in Russia this month, there is hope for the future thanks to a phenomenal core of young US talent (19 playing internationally and another 12 with MLS clubs) already playing in some of the top leagues in Europe led by Christian Pulisic, the child of two former soccer professionals who played at George Mason University in the 90’s.
Like so many international developments in the modern world, the almighty dollar drives progress. Money dictated the winning bid by the USA, Mexico and Canada, and it’s money that is driving the legalized cannabis movement in North America. Now if we could only buy some more talent on the soccer pitch, I might just live to see the day when the United States wins the World Cup. Shots, bong hits, and edibles for all!