MAY 13, 2021; HOUSTON, USA: Legendary football manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has praised Houston as a football host city with an “electrifying” atmosphere, in a timely boost to the city’s World Cup Bid Committee as it submits venue training sites to FIFA.
Ferguson issued glowing comments today to media whilst looking back on the 2010 Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star Game at Houston’s NRG Stadium.
Ferguson is perhaps the greatest football club manager of all time, having won more trophies than any other manager in the history of football.
During his time as the longest-tenured manager in Manchester United history, from 1986 to 2013, he led the club to more than 30 domestic and international titles and a record 528 match wins, including a historic victory over the MLS All-Star team at the 2010 MLS All-Star Game in Houston.
Sir Alex Ferguson stated: “When we were designated to play against the MLS All-Stars, I was really more interested in the stadium, which was used for multipurpose competitions like American football, baseball and basketball, but soccer! What will the pitch be like?
“I was delighted to say it was excellent and it created the platform for a really interesting game. The American Soccer League has been improving every year, and I know from experience where soccer has made an amazing impact on the game today.
Houston was an amazing venue; to my mind the 70,000 supporters inside the stadium had an electrifying effect on all of us, plus it was Chicha’s first goal and the Mexican contingent went mad, it was ‘welcome to United!’, but it reflected the impact that soccer was making in Houston and with the Houston stadium as the perfect platform.”
Ferguson’s statement comes just as the Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee has submitted a report on its Venue-Specific Training Site (VSTS) plans to FIFA and U.S. Soccer as part of its bid package. The submission serves as a key opportunity for candidate cities to present their commitment to meet the Hosting Requirements for the World Cup.
Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee President Chris Canetti stated:
“It’s an honor to hear Sir Alex Ferguson’s comments about the electrifying atmosphere at the 2010 MLS All-Star Game at NRG Stadium. They demonstrate Houston’s diverse population of passionate fans and our city’s proven track record of hosting top-quality international teams, including the Argentina and Mexico football teams, Bayern Munich and, of course, Manchester United.
Houston 2026 will deliver on its promise to provide the ultimate environment for international players to perform at their best at the World Cup. Our recent submission of training site plans to FIFA and U.S. Soccer is a key element in the bid process and showing that Houston is a world-class host and the best-prepared candidate city.”
Houston 2026 has proposed five training site venues in its report: AVEVA Stadium, BBVA Stadium, Houston Sports Park, Rice University, University of Houston, with a total of eight soccer pitches as its training site options.
All five venues are conveniently located within 15 minutes of each other and in proximity to NRG Stadium, Houston international airports, and proposed hotel locations, providing the most convenient experience for the entire football family, in and out of competition.