Jun 12, 2022; Bridgeview, Illinois, USA; Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Pugh (9) looks on while fans wave city of Chicago flags during the second half at SeatGeek Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

FIFA announced the 2026 World Cup on Thursday, spreading them between Canada (two), Mexico (three), and the United States (11).

Toronto and Vancouver will represent Canada while Mexico will host games in Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the list of host cities and regions includes Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, Kansas City, MO, Los Angeles, CA, Miami, FL, New York City & New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, CA, and Seattle, WA.

When you look at a map, you notice that, aside from Kansas City, there are no other Midwestern cities included in the list.

While there are plenty of snubbed cities that stand out, perhaps no missing U.S. city is more of a shock than Chicago, IL. The third-most-populous city in the nation will not take part in the 2026 World Cup and won’t even have a match take place within 500 miles.

Those paying attention would have told you that Chicago never actually submitted a bid for the World Cup. The city pulled out of the bid process back in 2018 when they felt like they couldn’t receive certain assurances from FIFA.

“FIFA could not provide a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns that put our city and taxpayers at risk,” a statement said at the time. “The uncertainty for taxpayers, coupled with FIFA’s inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate, were clear indications that further pursuit of the bid wasn’t in Chicago’s best interests.”

Given the other major American cities that put in bids and will host games, it’s unclear why Chicago decided not to participate beyond that. But given how old that news was, it’s no surprise that many soccer fans and sports fans didn’t understand why FIFA didn’t include the Windy City in their list on Thursday.

Chicago was a host city for the 1994 World Cup.

[CBS Sports]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.