Philadelphia wants to serve as one of the host cities for the largest sporting event on the planet.
The city’s civic committee announced on Thursday that a star-studded cast featuring US Women’s soccer team member Carli Lloyd and teammate, Julie Ertz, her husband and Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, and Philadelphia Union winger and former US men’s national team member, Alejandro Bedoya, will serve as honorary co-chairs for Philadelphia’s bid committee to bring 2026 FIFA World Cup games to the City of Brotherly Love.
Philadelphia is one of 17 US candidate cities that are in the running for 10 host slots. They made their initial bid presentation in July but will not find out if they’ve been selected until late 2021.
“We are delighted to have such powerhouses lend their support to Philadelphia’s bid for the 2026 World Cup,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation and Chairman of Philadelphia Soccer 2026. “Carli Lloyd, Julie and Zach Ertz, and Alejandro Bedoya reflect excellence in sports, and all share a great passion for our city and region. Each of them sees the FIFA World Cup as an incomparable opportunity to elevate Philadelphia on the world stage and grow the game of soccer here. We are excited to have them join our team – and with Governor Tom Wolf and Mayor Jim Kenney representing our elected leaders in support of this bid – we know their commitment to winning will only bolster this important civic effort.”
As a native of Delran, NJ, Lloyd is one of the most decorated soccer players in U.S. history. She is a two-time Women’s World Cup winner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and a two-time FIFA Player of the Year.
“This is home and I’m excited to help bring the world’s biggest sporting event to Philadelphia,” Lloyd. “I know firsthand the excitement and energy that comes from the FIFA World Cup and I have no doubt that Philadelphia will meet this moment as a host city and as an incredible and committed soccer community. It is an honor to be part of this bid.”
Julie and Zach Ertz are Philadelphia’s favorite sporting couple, and also its most successful. Julie is also a two-time World Cup champion and has been named U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year twice.
Her husband, Zach, is the three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion that is one of the best tight ends of the game.
As he prepares for a Week 4 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, he’s also set to bring marquee soccer to Philadelphia.
“We didn’t know Philadelphia before 2013, but it quickly has become home,” the Ertzes released in a statement. “Not only is it filled with arts, culture, and amazing restaurants, but it also is the greatest sports city in the world. We know that this passionate fan base will rally with us to support the bid for Philadelphia, and we’re proud to join with Carli and Alejandro to help FIFA and U.S. Soccer get to know the Philadelphia we love so much.”