Philadelphia Soccer 2026, Philadelphia’s civic committee overseeing the region’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2026™, today announced that Carli Lloyd, forward for the U.S. Women’s National Team and Sky Blue FC, Julie Ertz, midfielder for the U.S. Women’s National Team and Chicago Red Stars, Alejandro Bedoya, attacking midfielder/winger for the Philadelphia Union and longtime member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, and Zach Ertz, tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, will serve as honorary co-chairs for Philadelphia’s bid committee. Lloyd, the Ertzes, and Bedoya will help champion Philadelphia to FIFA and U.S. Soccer as the organizations formally evaluate 17 U.S. candidate cities for ten U.S. host slots. They will also serve as bid ambassadors across the tri-state region, helping to drive enthusiasm and engagement among one of the most passionate sports bases in the nation.
Lloyd, the Ertzes, and Bedoya join Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney as honorary co-chairs for Philadelphia’s bid. Governor Wolf and Mayor Kenney have long supported Philadelphia’s effort, dating back to its inclusion in the successful United 2026 bid, which awarded the FIFA World Cup 2026™ to the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Their roles as honorary co-chairs further affirms the full support of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia in hosting one of the world’s largest international sporting events.
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 Wolf and Mayor 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 joins the bid committee of Philadelphia Soccer 2026 as a two-time
FIFA World Champion (2015; 2019), two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2008; 2012),
and as a two-time FIFA Player of the Year (2015; 2016). She plans to
participate in the rescheduled 2020 Olympic Games next summer in Tokyo as a
member of Team USA.
home and I’m excited to help bring the world’s biggest sporting event to
Philadelphia,” said 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.”
Zach Ertz join this important civic endeavor in support of their adopted
hometown. Julie Ertz is also a two-time FIFA World Cup™ Champion (2015; 2019)
and has been named U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year twice (2017; 2019).
She was introduced to Philadelphia when her husband Zach was drafted by the
Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
NFL career, Zach Ertz has been selected three times for the NFL Pro-Bowl
(2018-2020) and currently holds the NFL record for most receptions in a single
season by a tight end (116 in 2018). He also helped lead the Philadelphia
Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl victory in the 2017-18 season.
shared, “We didn’t know Philadelphia before 2013, but it quickly has become
home. 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.”
has been a highly popular and successful member of the Philadelphia Union since
2016, also brings terrific international soccer experience to Philadelphia’s
bid effort. Bedoya has earned 65 career caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team
(USMNT) in the past seven years, appearing in all four FIFA World Cup™ matches
for the USMNT in 2014 and serving as a leader in the team’s run to the 2016
Copa America Centenario semifinal.
accepting this role, he said, “I’m excited to represent the Philadelphia Union
as an honorary co-chair for the city’s bid. Soccer is the world’s game and this
tournament is unlike any other sporting event. Its presence here would not only
impact a current generation of soccer players, but it would also shape the next
generation. I look forward to being a vocal advocate for this effort as we work
to win the bid and increase the presence and passion for soccer across the
first bid presentation to FIFA and U.S. Soccer occurred via Zoom on July 10,
2020. Recommendations as to which of the 17 U.S. candidate cities will be
selected as official host cities are not expected until late 2021.
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