U.S. Soccer’s 2026 Win Feels Like Another Loss
The United States didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup yet is awarded hosting responsibilities for the 2026 World Cup alongside Canada and Mexico.
And some people say soccer is uneventful?
Winning the bid over Morocco, the United States has been granted tremendous incentive—with accompanying pressure—to elevate the national team beyond just a qualifying force in less than a decade.
Particularly following an embarrassing omission in Russia for the World Cup with games starting tomorrow, soccer fans here and abroad are rightly wondering about the direction of the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT).
Will the United States ever fully showcase its grand potential on the sport’s biggest stage?
Following America’s 2002 quarterfinal finish—controversial as the 1-nil loss to Germany was—the USMNT has not yet fulfilled its soccer destiny during the past 16 years. Christian Pulisic, Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp, Julian Green and other young players are showing glimpses of a positive USMNT future on the pitch.
Returning to the successful World Cup bid, what American cities were submitted to host World Cup games? This list will be reduced to 10 in the coming years.
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That list includes Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Columbus was excluded, which I believe is absolutely disgraceful.
The locations for the matches will show the country and the world where the soccer hot spots are in the United States.
And yet, the three-nation committee ignored the storied, inspirational history of soccer in Columbus involving the Crew and USMNT.
Remember in 2016 when the Horseshoe hosted more than 86,000 screaming European giants fans for the Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid match?
Comparatively, the attendance for the 2014 World Cup final between Argentina and Germany was just shy of 75,000.
Just an FYI.
Keep in mind that two of the American host cities have yet to have their future team play a single game as a member of MLS (Cincy and Nashville) and one city is on its second attempt at supporting an MLS club (Miami).
For a myriad of reasons, one of which being Dos-a-Cero, Columbus absolutely should have been named as one of the sites for the 2026 World Cup. Moreover, Ohio’s capital city has two legitimate stadiums to offer; small and intimate at MAPFRE Stadium (or a possible new downtown stadium in the future) or large and grand in the Horseshoe.
And I thought the USMNT missing the 2018 World Cup was an embarrassing low-point.
I was wrong because this 2026 “win” feels like another massive loss for the identity of American soccer.
OP-ED: Heartbeat Bill will likely affect 11yo Ohio rape victim
The passage of Ohio’s recent “heartbeat bill,” signed by Governor DeWine, marks a massive and distressing win in the conservative quest to outright ban abortion. All parties supporting the bill—from DeWine to legislators and lobbyists—are well aware that the action will be blocked by courts as they uphold Roe v. Wade, which protects the right to abortion until 24 weeks gestation. We should be frightened as we explore whether their big picture goal is to get Roe v. Wade overturned by the decidedly conservative Court.
By banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected, the law prohibits abortion as early as eight weeks, well before many women know they are pregnant. Add in the already mandatory twenty-four hour waiting period between first appointment and procedure, and the likelihood of legal abortion for even a pregnancy detected early seems slim. The law is an blatant attempt to ban women’s right to choose.
The Guttmacher Institute found that 1 in 4 women has had an abortion before age 45. The Pew Research Center found that 58% of Americans support legal abortion in all or most cases, with polarizing views against abortion coming mostly from Republican and religious Americans. These statistics fail to depict, though, how traumatic the impact can be for women forced to carry a child to term when she does not have the means or support to do so. The law is meant to protect the fetus at a term that is far earlier than the 22 to 24 weeks at which it is viable, all at the cost of the mother.
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The bill notably does not give exceptions for cases of rape and incest, only allowing exceptions for medical necessity to save the mother’s life. This means an 11 year-old rape victim from Massillon will likely have to carry her rapist’s baby to term.
Heartbeat bills do not ban abortion; they ban legal abortion. I think of a sign I saw during the 2017 Women’s March: a metal coat hanger with the words “WE WON’T GO BACK” scrawled below. The passage of this recent law achingly raises questions of whether or not we will go back.
Women who now find themselves pregnant could have their lives forever changed. Even if they choose to surrender the baby after birth, the cost of a pregnancy is astronomical and healthcare is far from a certainty in this country. If the pregnancy was caused by rape, the potential for trauma only escalates. Women will have few places to turn, with the most vulnerable unable to seek safe healthcare and the potential high for maternal deaths as part of botched abortions.
The ACLU and other organizations are already moving to challenge the ban in court. I can’t shake the looming feeling that these challenges will only play into the hands of those anti-abortion supporters, and that we may be entering the most important fight of our generation in this fight for a woman’s right to choose.
OP-ED: ‘Red flag’ is far cry from where Ohio gun law should be
Last weekend, a man entered a synagogue in Poway, California armed with a rifle. The Washington Post reports that prior to him entering the place of worship, the accused shooter wrote a 7-page letter about his hatred for Jewish people. He believed killing them would “glorify God.” Below is an op-ed from one Columbus mother who believes Ohio should be taking a stronger stance against guns following of the Poway tragedy.
Even in light of this past weekend’s synagogue shooting, DeWine is still unwilling to change Ohio’s gun laws. He is, however, advocating for Ohio to pass a red flag law, which would allow law enforcement to seize guns from individuals deemed a societal risk.
This isn’t the first time the red flag law was floated in the Ohio Legislature. In the wake of last year’s Parkland High School shooting in Florida, former Gov. Kasich backed the proposed law, which ultimately failed to gain support.
Opposition to the legislation stems from Republican lawmakers’ belief that it infringes on the constitution rights to bear arms and proper due process of law. However, 14 other states have already implemented the red flag law.
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Moms Demand Action, a national gun control organization, notes that 42% of attackers exhibit warning signs before shootings occur. And although this legislation would only be a small step in the right direction, it could help save lives.
But ultimately, statistics don’t matter to politicians, who are dependent on dollars from the gun lobby. And until our elected officials decide that Ohioans‘ safety comes first, any measure, regardless of how small and sensible, will fail.
Ohio Republicans need to take a long hard look at their agenda and ask themselves if it truly serves our needs. Which is more important: our children feeling safe at school or campaign contributions?
The red flag law is a common-sense measure, and while it’s a far cry from where Ohio gun restriction needs to be, it’s certainly a start.
Review: New tasting menu at Veritas offers uniquely special experience
On a warm and windy day in April, after bringing everyone in the (614) the 4-11, I had the immense pleasure of enjoying taste profiles, textures, and pairings unlike anything else I’ve experienced in all my 24 years.
The scene: Veritas.
The food: Josh Dalton’s new Chef’s Tasting Menu
As Columbus’ only exclusively tasting menu experience, Veritas takes all the guesswork out of ordering and puts all its confidence into a small, meticulously-crafted, multi-course menu. Never having experienced a tasting menu before, I didn’t know what to expect, but having read a great deal about Veritas prior to my visit, my expectations were high.
Boy, did they deliver.
My guest and I were seated front and center at a table with a view of the pristine kitchen. Hm, dinner and a show, I thought as I met eyes with a man wearing a white chefs coat through the glass. We both smiled. I was excitedly nervous! Veritas was tastefully decorated, lit lowly, and populated by middle aged people wearing mostly business formal attire who, I guessed, were fluent in the language and etiquette of tasting menus. I spun my nose ring nervously.
Then, our host Mitch approached us and put my nerves at ease. He delivered two Snapdragon cocktails (Junmai sake-based and gorgeous) and warmly welcomed us to Veritas.
Our snacks would be right out, Mitch said. But, the snacks we got weren’t like any Fritos or Rice Krispy treats I’d had before. Three bite-sized goodies spaced out evenly on a long white plate lay before me and my grumbling stomach.
Course 1 Snacks
First (left to right) was a small radish dipped in rendered A5 Waygy beef tallow and sprinkled with smoke sea salt—savory beyond belief. I finished the radish and impolitely dabbed up the salt remnants with my fingertip. Next was a walnut cheddar wine cracker topped with whipped smokey blue cheese roasted red grape, balsamic reduction—delectable. And the grand finale: New Zealand Deep-Sea Red Crab salad wrapped in daikon radish, topped with chive. I could’ve eaten a bale of this seafood concoction.
But alas, Veritas likes to keep you hungry as not to spoil any of the riches ahead.
Course 2 Celeriac + Frisee + Black Garlic
This delicacy is made from a molded goat cheese shell, filled with a beet-based foam, and garnished with compressed apples and tarragon. The cold and airy feel of the foam, sweet firmness of the shell, chewiness of the apples, and freshness of the tarragon all joined hands and sang “Kumbaya” as I consumed. Or, maybe that was me singing…
This was by far the best and most complex mix of flavors and textures I had ever had.
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Course 3 Celeriac + Frisee + Black Garlic
I was already juggling my cocktail, my mildly sweet and tart champagne flute from the snack course, and a glass of white wine from the last course when the knowledgable Veritas Sommelier delivered a glasses of “orange” wine to the table. I know what you’re thinking because I thought it, too: no, the wine is not made from oranges, but rather blends both the red and white style of winemaking to create a unique vino. Don’t mind if I do, I thought as I indulged.
As I wolfed down this obscure looking but totally delicious dish, I had absolutely no idea what Celeriac was and my only knowledge about croquet exists because of the movie Alice in Wonderland. Beneath the frisee salad and bursting beads of smoked trout roe was a black garlic sauce-soaked celery root lightly fried in bread crumbs. This was the first warm dish and I was officially in love with Celeriac. Still not sold on the game of croquet.
Course 4 Monkfish + Prosciutto + Hen of the Woods
Prosciutto wrapped anything is a delicacy. Prosciutto wrapped monkfish is a prize. And I was just straight up spoiled with the sautéed hen of the woods mushrooms.
Course 5 Way Flank + Sunflower + Pomegranate
Wagyu, come to mama. Twice pan-seared—once in garlic and butter—laying on a bed of pomegranate yuzukoshu black garlic reduction that I could see myself swimming in a vat of. This was my favorite course by a mile. My only complaint is that my affection for it far outweighed its actual weight.
Course 6 Gjegost + Lychee + Sumac
Full disclosure, the ingredients in this dish may as well have been written in another language, because I had never heard of gjetost foam, lychee sorbet, or sumac. But, it cooly calmed my palate and I was a happy little lychee.
Course 7 Butternut Squash “Tart”
Ah, the seventh and final course. Plated to perfection, the dessert entree was a modest one, bringing in savory profiles and unique textures. My favorite bites were those of the sponge cake and mole ice cream. Call me traditional.
Coming in at $75, the Chef’s Tasting isn’t going to be your Thursday Happy Hour Plans. But, that’s okay because what it does offer is a uniquely special experience that cannot be had anywhere else in the city. Everyone can can offer 1/2 off appetizers, only Veritas can delivery an exceptionally high level of service, quality, taste, character, and creativity each and every time.
Veritas is located at 11 West Gay Street and is open 5pm – 10pm Tuesday through Saturday. To learn more about Veritas and the Tasting Menus, visit Veritas.com.