FIFA recently announced the timetable for the bid process to determine the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, beginning with Monday's deadline or a national association to express its intent to bid. U.S. Soccer waited until after the inauguration of Barack Obama to announce its intention to host.
The 2018/2022 bid process is unique in that two World Cup hosts will be selected at the same time. Their selection by FIFA's 24-man executive committee with take place in December 2010.
A U.S. bid would be considered to be highly competitive, though less likely to succeed than the near certainty that one of the two World Cups would go to a European country.
FIFA set out the minimum requirements to host: about 12 stadiums holding at least 40,000 fans for group matches, with one stadium of at least a capacity of 80,000 to stage the opening match and the final.
European countries bidding include England, Russia, Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg and Spain-Portugal.
Australia, Indonesia and Qatar have also announced plans to bid.
Japan's bid is conditional on Tokyo winning the 2016 Olympic bid and building a 120,000-seat stadium. The 2002 World Cup co-host has no 80,000-seat stadium at the moment.
Other potential U.S. competition from non-European countries includes China, Mexico and Canada, though none has confirmed plans to submit expressions of intent by Monday's deadline.
Countries from Africa and South America are excluded from bidding for the 2018 World Cup. A South American country and a country from the continent that produces the winner of the 2018 World Cup bid would be ineligible for the 2022 World Cup.
The 2010 World Cup is in South Africa and the 2014 tournament is in Brazil.