We joked about it a month ago, the idea of the U.S. hosting a summer tournament full of all the nations who were too cool to actually qualify for the World Cup. Turns out, U.S. Soccer is actually looking into doing just that.
According to reports, sources have indicated that U.S. Soccer and Soccer United Marketing (the for-profit marketing arm of MLS) are exploring the idea of hosting teams like Italy, the Netherlands and Chile for a sort of tournament of rejects in 2018.
The U.S. failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986 and will be joined by a number of big soccer countries on the sidelines as the tournament goes on in Russia next summer. Italy failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958 while the Netherlands and Ghana have been in every tournament since 2002.
It’s conceivable that the current champions of CONCACAF (U.S.), CONMEBOL (Chile) and African (Cameroon) could all join this tournament, though it is still in very early stages of planning. The tournament could also include Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, Paraguay, Ghana, Ivory Coast and either Honduras or Australia. It wouldn’t be as great as the World Cup, but it’d be a nice distraction.
Whether or not an alternate World Cup takes place in America, the U.S. could host a number of friendlies in the lead-up to the actual tournament, with Central and South American countries coming to the States on the way to Russia.
To host an actual tournament with some of the best soccer countries in the world could help Americans forget about the sting of missing the 2018 World Cup. But probably not.