World Cup 2026: Will Team USA Qualify Automatically? Co-Host’s Status Unclear

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United States forward Josh Sargent (13) and midfielder Christian Pulisic (10)

Photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images

The United States isn’t certain to attend its own soccer party.

The U.S., Canada and Mexico on Wednesday won the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup after world soccer’s governing body voted in favor of the North America’s joint bid over Morocco. Questions instantly turned to the field, with many casual observers wondering whether the U.S. will automatically qualify for the tournament.

The answer is: we don’t know yet. The U.S. Soccer Federation said on its website FIFA’s Council will determine on a future date whether the U.S., Canada and/or Mexico will qualify automatically.

Host nations have automatically qualified for every World Cup from 1930 through 2022, but 2026 represents the first time three nations will stage FIFA’s showcase event.

The United States disappointingly failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, ending its streak of seven consecutive tournament appearances. USA will regroup in the coming years and attempt to clinch a spot in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar before turning its attention to home pursuits.

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