US Soccer Federation eyes Cary, NC for its headquarters ahead of 2026 World Cup

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Cary is among at least two locations being considered for the new home of the U.S. Soccer Federation’s headquarters and premiere training facility for professional athletes, the town confirmed Wednesday.

The national association, currently headquartered in Chicago, has been considering different sites at which to build its new headquarters, including those in Cary and Atlanta.

Cary is home to the 160-acre WakeMed Soccer Park — where North Carolina FC of the USL League One and the National Women’s Soccer League’s North Carolina Courage play — and the USA Baseball training complex. The federation’s move to the town would leverage the use of the soccer park and some of the town’s existing infrastructure.

Town Manager Sean Stegall said Cary being considered as the home of USA Soccer, “the biggest sport in the world, really puts us on a map in an entirely different way with an even larger audience.”

Stegall told The News & Observer that he and Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht went to Chicago last fall to pitch Cary as the new home for the Federation. The Federation is looking for an area where it can build a campus training facility, which it’s not able to do in Chicago, Stegall said in an interview.

“Cary has a long and rich history of supporting soccer,” Stegall said. “Cary embraces not only just soccer but the community itself and I think the third point was the WakeMed facility specifically and the potential to develop around it and to grow with the U.S. Soccer Federation.”

But before any move from Chicago, the national organization will campaign to raise nearly $300 million to help build the new headquarters, training center and a diversity, equity inclusion and belonging (DEIB) innovation lab.

Stegall said it could be a while before the national federation makes a decision on its new site. But he said the national training center is expected to include:

  • More than 14 groomed fields

  • Training facilities

  • Collaborative workspaces

  • High-tech sporting equipment

  • Medical resources for injury prevention and recovery

The site would also be home for the national organization’s staff, according to The Athletic, which first reported the news.

‘We’re excited’

Cary is home to over 174,000 residents, making it the second largest municipality in Wake County and seventh largest in the state.

As the town grows, leaders are prioritizing different needs of the community, including the creation of Fenton, the Downtown Cary Park and a future 10.9-acre indoor recreation and mixed-used center on Buck Jones Road.

David Crotts, the stadium and facilities manager for the WakeMed Soccer Park, said the Federation also hosts training and games for paraplegic soccer and sand soccer.

“It’s everything housed on one piece of property,” Crotts said. “I think we would probably build more fields in the future for the youth in the area because (WakeMed) will very much be a US Soccer facility.”

WakeMed Soccer Park opened in 2002 and hosts senior and youth national team events and camps, in addition to men’s and women’s soccer games.

There is still room for more development around the park.

Crotts said the town has been in talks with the national organization for 10 months now, and the news of Cary being in consideration came as a surprise.

However, Crotts said, “We’re excited.”

The Athletic reports that Atlanta’s site would be a new development and that other cities could emerge as candidates.

“I’ve been here for 14 years and to think that a national entity of the United States wants to be your facility is a feather in our cap,” Crotts said. “All of our maintenance guys that work their tails off every week making this place what it is is definitely something they should feel honored for.”

In 2026, three North American countries — the United States, Canada and Mexico — will team up to host the FIFA World Cup across 16 different host cities, including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Vancouver.

This is a developing story.