Jones on World Cup 26 ‘explosion’ and why USA can dream big

  • Cobi Jones is USA’s record caps holder and played in three FIFA World Cups

  • He believes 2026 edition of global finals can be the greatest ever

  • USA will co-host 48-team tournament with Canada and Mexico

Cobi Jones has experienced the unique mix of emotions that come with representing your country at a home FIFA World Cup™.

The pressure, excitement and intensity levels were dialed up to new heights when the tournament headed Stateside in 1994 – and Jones and his USA team-mates rose to the challenge. The Americans thrilled their adoring fans by progressing past the group phase for the first time in 60 years and pushed eventual champions Brazil all the way before being edged out in the Round of 16.

“What sticks out most is the huge attention we got,” Jones tells “It was like nothing I’d ever felt before. That’s what is going to be like for the US players in 2026. They may not feel like it yet but, when this tournament comes around, they will be superstars here.”

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Los Angeles, where you spent most of your career and now call home, will host USA’s opening game. What was your reaction when that was announced?

To have the United States’ opening game in my city, wow. The stadium is gorgeous. For people who haven’t been there before, they will be in awe of it. Also, there is so much passion for the game in Los Angeles. It’s an international community – you have so much diversity here and so many people who love soccer. We now have three teams here: the Galaxy, LAFC and Angel City FC in the NWSL. There’s been a significant fanbase within LA for decades and it is growing.

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