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“In 1994,” reads an e-mail by USA Bid Committee Honorary Chairman Bill Clinton, “I was the first president to watch a World Cup game on American soil.

“I’ll never forget that day:  the beauty of the Game, the roar of the crowd, and the power of soccer to unite people of such diverse backgrounds and beliefs.

“These past six months I’ve worked to bring this incredible experience to millions more Americans . . . .  I am proud that my voice has joined yours to tell the entire world that the Game Is In Us.  With FIFA’s decision less than a month away, we’re using every resource available to show we’re fully committed to bringing the World Cup to our country–and our best resource is fans like you.

“Will you support this effort with a contribution to the Bid Committee?  Any amount you can afford will make a real difference:

“From Harlem to Haare, soccer is played in every corner of the planet, but perhaps no nation embodies the spirit of the Game like the United States.  We are a rich melting pot of cultures and ethnicities; every qualifying nation will feel as their they’re playing a home game on our pitch.

“Our diversity, our dedication, our unique blend of individual achievement and cooperation–these traits define both our nation and the game of soccer.  A FIFA World Cup in the United States in 2022 would be a perfect fit.

“We have just 23 days to make this dream a reality.  Now is not the time to hold back; now is the time to push on through the final whistle and send FIFA a clear message:  The Game Is In US.

“Help us send this message as powerfully as we possibly can.  Contribute to the Bid today.”  [November 9]

Comment: Contribute, by all means–it can’t hurt.

But first, a few questions are in order.  Such as, how will GoUSABid, a non-profit, use your donation (check a box ranging from $1 to $1,000, or “other”)?  And where in all this are the bid committee’s sponsors, AT&T, American Airlines and Fox Soccer Channel?

Above all, what’s the incentive, beyond giving the typically selfless American soccer fan who donates a warm and fuzzy feeling?  Why no offer of a spot near the head of the line if and when tickets to USA ’22 go on sale? 

Sure, these questions are a bit nigglng, but it should be noted that if GoUSABid succeeds, it will create a money-spinning behemoth that, by its own projections, will generate $1 billion in revenue from the turnstiles alone, based on five million available tickets.  By the time the last shekel is counted, it is doubtful that anyone will be around to thank the grassroots supporters who played a role.

Update:  If you felt bad about not contributing to this point, buck up.  Major League Soccer, its owners and the league’s marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing, joined forces to present the Bid Committee with its largest single donation, a cool $2 million.  That should cover the committee members’ flight to Zurich next month.  [November 19]

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