Follow The Fan: Facebook | Twitter

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. coach Bruce Arena thinks the Americans could win the World Cup in 2026.

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced this week it intends to bid jointly to host the 2026 tournament with Mexico and Canada. Sixty matches would be in the U.S., with 10 each in the other countries.

Speaking Thursday during a conference call, Arena says “I think in 2026 we’re going to be fully emerged into the game and a big player. So I think 2026 will be the time where we’re going to start talking about winning a World Cup.”

The joint bid is considered the favorite. Arena said he wasn’t assuming the U.S. will host because “we’re being politically correct in a time where you don’t even need to be politically correct.”
Arena coached the U.S. to the 2002 quarterfinals, its best finish since reaching the semifinals of the first World Cup in 1930.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)