Gulati was joined by Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani and Federacion Mexicana de Futbol president Decio de Maria on Monday at One World Trade Center to announce the bid.
While Donald Trump may be mulling over the construction of a wall on the Mexican border, interestingly he has given encouragement to the United States to go ahead and launch a joint bid for hosting the 2026 World Cup along with Mexico and Canada. The answer: The U.S. will get 60 with Mexico and Canada each hosting 10.
But, as Sunil Gulati said, it feels the bid is stronger with three countries on board, and it has the ability to bring the nations closer together, at a time when political relationships between the United States and Mexico are not strong.
Earlier this year, Trump signed directives to begin building a wall along United States border with Mexico and crack down on USA cities that shield undocumented immigrants. But Gulati said that soccer officials had been contact with Trump through a third party and that the president is on board.
Trump was elected previous year after a campaign marked by rhetoric against Mexico, vowing to build a wall along the country's southern border to keep out illegal immigrants. Federation Internationale de Football Association will select the host for the sporting event in 2020.
Monday's announcement confirmed what has always been regarded as an open secret amongst FIFA-watchers: that a bid from the North America region for 2026 was inevitable.
The current tournament structure, which will be used in Russian Federation in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, involves 32 teams and 64 matches. South America, Central America, Africa and Oceania are eligible to bid for the 2026 World Cup.
"This is a milestone day for U.S. Soccer and for CONCACAF", U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said, per U.S. Soccer's website. Other countries have this year and part of next year to submit their bids.
That campaign captured the imagination of USA sports fans, with huge crowds attending public screenings of games at cities across the country.
Does Canada have any experience staging major soccer tournaments? The United States and Mexico are perennial qualifiers but Canada have only reached the finals once - back in 1986. The 3 federations will work together and develop a bid for FIFA to consider in order to award the CONCACAF nations the first World Cup that would consist of 48 nations.
Mexico hosted in 1970 and 1986 (when Canada made its only World Cup appearance), and the US staged the competition in 1994. Canada is the only one of the three that has never hosted a World Cup.
A FIFA World Cup Brasil football.
But he suggested that given the number of quality stadiums in the three countries, "we would generally be in favour of more venues than less".
With an 80-game event in North America - some are calling it the NAFTA World Cup - a key question is how the matches will be allocated. "The thought of building sports facilities that don't have a long-term use is not particularly inviting for anyone".