The 18 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas and Boston, have stadiums with average seating capacities of 78,000.
Other cities named in the bid that will be presented to FIFA on May 14 were Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C.
The United States hosted the World Cup in 1994.
Chicago, unlike many of the cities selected, also has a Major League Soccer team.
"They had a tough time wrestling with FIFA requirements and when we approached them they were still in the middle of their (failed 2016) Olympic bid," Gulati said.
(Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Ed Osmond)