I spent much of Sunday afternoon in Dripping Springs enjoying the refreshing taste of good English beer while taking in a grueling knockout-round World Cup match between Croatia and Denmark.
As I sat there, a group of eager football and non-football fans alike discussed the beautiful game, dissecting what was at stake for the two countries battling it out in Russia.
Nothing else in the world, at that moment, mattered more than the World Cup. And in the most unlikely of venues, in Dripping Springs, I was surrounded by people who shared those same emotions.
Despite the United States not qualifying for the tournament, millions of Americans are tuning in every day to catch the top teams as they fight for the cup. Following last month’s announcement that all three North American countries will host the World Cup in 2026, now, more than ever, is the time to watch the world’s game.
Houston and Dallas are the two Texas cities that will host matches in 2026, bringing a diverse pool of people from all over the world to the Lone Star State. This, like Russia, is an opportunity to show the world that we are not a polarized nation, but a group of people who welcome all walks of life for the love of sport.
Despite what may seem like differences on the surface, we all walk the same, talk the same, drink the same and love football, or soccer, the same. Above all in 2026, I am looking forward to sharing those moments with my fellow soccer fans across the world.
Such a scene is already playing out during this World Cup. As I type this, Mexico’s World Cup came to a close at the hands of Brazil, and many Americans of Hispanic descent are mourning the loss. Many of those people, who are also fans of the United States, cheered on our neighbor just south of us to represent the North American continent well.
In 2026, Mexico, Canada and the United States will all represent this continent by hosting the tournament. North America 2026, just like Japan/South Korea 2002, is an opportunity to unite our people.
I will spend the remainder of the tournament watching matches at my desk, talking to my coworkers about the games, and enjoying a good drink at Acopon while I watch great football, making new friends along the way.
“World Cup fever” is real, and the goal is, as the games conclude and one nation is crowned a true world champion, that the beautiful game will live on in these great United States in preparation for the next 8 years.
Sure, we aren’t a country focused solely on football, but this sport gives us the opportunity to share a common interest with people of all walks of life, and, at the end of the day, win or lose, diversifying Americans and showing that we are not that different is why the World Cup matters. Cheers.