U.S. men's national team manager Bruce Arena believes his team could win a World Cup in 2026 if it hosts the competition.
Canada, Mexico and the U.S. announced Monday their intention to jointly bid for the 2026 World Cup, and Arena believes the U.S. will be contenders by that time.
"In 2026 we're going to be fully emerged into the game and a big player," Arena said on a conference call Thursday, via ESPN FC."I think 2026 will be the time where we're going to start talking about winning a World Cup. It wasn't going to be in 1994, it wasn't going to be in 2010. But 2026 could be our time."
It's a bold proclamation from a manserving his second stint as U.S. manager. The U.S. has never truly contended in the World Cup before, and it will seemingly still be behind countries like Brazil, Germany, Spain, France and possibly even Belgium in talent by then.
"[Being] one of the host countries is an advantage, and think about where we're going to be in nine more years," Arena said.
"Nine more years in our league (MLS), nine more years of players developing all over the world and then playing a World Cup in our country. I think that we're going to be positioned to be a big player in 2026."
Developing talent such as Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic,VfB Stuttgart's Julian Green and Arsenal'sGedion Zelalem would go a long way in making Arena's dream possible. However, every country has a handful of talented players they can't wait to see take center stage.
For now, the USMNT's main goal should be securing a spot in the 2018 World Cup. Once that is complete, then maybe greener pastures ahead can be discussed.