Copa America Centenario organizing officials are calling the tournament a smashing success, and U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati is hoping that it will help the country land the right to host the 2026 World Cup.
"We hope [this Copa America] influences where the 2026 World Cup will be, but that one hasn't been decided," said Gulati at a press conference on Friday.
Gulati is the chairman of the Copa America Centenario local organzing committee. The tournament has drawn big crowds to stadiums around the U.S. despite high ticket prices. While there has been come criticism of the empty seats in the massive NFL stadiums, the competition still set a record for largest attendance for a Copa America.
More from FoxSports
Gulati also said that U.S. Soccer hasn't made a decision on whether to bid on the 2026 World Cup yet, which is consistent with what he has been saying for more than a year now. Ever since the U.S. lost in their bid to host the 2022 World Cup, which went to Qatar, Gulati has been firm that the process for selecting World Cup hosts would have to change for the U.S. to bid again. He believes the process previously used is too susceptible to corruption and didn't seek to select the best host for the tournament.
FIFA is set to announce the process and rules for 2026 World Cup bidding in the fall. At that point, U.S. Soccer will decide whether they are going to bid, but it appears clear what Gulati wants to happen and thinks will happen. He wants to host the tournament and he thinks that FIFA will implement a system that satisfies his concerns with bidding, which is why he's hoping that Copa America can help strengthen their bid.
MORE FROM FOX SOCCER