By Michael Lewis Editor

NEW YORK – OK, I admit it I am biased.

I would love to see the 2026 World Cup final at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

I’ve attended soccer games in the metropolitan area forever.

Yes, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas is humungous and can hold 100,000 spectators, and Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles, I am told, is beautiful.

Getting the opportunity to ask the final question of the FIFA World Cup venue press conference on Thursday evening, I posed this query to President Gianni Infantino:

“Here we are in New York City, the most culturally diverse city in the country, perhaps in the world. Why wouldn’t FIFA want to have the World Cup final in MetLife Stadium in New Jersey?”

Infantino’s response:

“New York is definitely a candidate and so are the 15 other cities as well.”

But all jokes aside, Infantino added: “This is really a luxury problem to some extent that we have and it’s probably unique to this part of the world. We have some cities in North America which are not just in we’re saying Washington as the capital is not one of those cities. There are cities here which are not just important cities in America but are world global capitals.

“All of these cities have their pros and cons. And if you play a final in New York, New Jersey it would be a fantastic time. If it is in Los Angeles it will be a fantastic time. If it is in Miami, it will be a fantastic time. It will be a great final in Dallas and Atlanta. I should mention all 16.

“So, we will consider that very, very carefully. As Victor [Montagliani, Concacaf president] said before, there are many criteria which we have to take into account; the weather is one probably as well. The capacity of the stadium, the capacity of the city as such, the cooperation.

“This is the start of the great excitement.”

And you’re welcome, New York and New Jersey radio and TV stations for giving you a sound bite.



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Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at