Another soccer bonanza, the 2025 Club World Cup, is coming to the U.S.

LA PLATA, ARGENTINA - JUNE 11: Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA celebrates the victory of Uruguay during the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 Final match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio La Plata on June 11, 2023 in La Plata, Argentina. (Photo by Marcos Brindicci - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
FIFA president Gianni Infantino was the driving force behind the expanded Club World Cup. Its first edition will be played in the United States. (Photo by Marcos Brindicci - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The United States further cemented itself as global soccer's primary hub over the coming years when FIFA announced Friday that the U.S. will host the 2025 Club World Cup, the first edition of an expanded tournament that will feature many of the sport's biggest names.

The U.S. is already set to host or co-host the 2026 men's World Cup and 2024 men's Copa America. It also routinely hosts regional championships, including men's and women's CONCACAF Gold Cups, and hopes to co-host the 2027 Women's World Cup along with Mexico. Then comes the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

Now, 12 months before the 2026 bonanza, FIFA's attempt to replicate its crown jewel on the club side will come to the U.S. as well.

The Club World Cup is currently an eight-team tournament featuring the champions of each continent. But beginning in 2025, it will become a quadrennial, 32-team, month-long event. Twelve of those 32 teams will be from Europe. Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City, as the winners of the last three UEFA Champions League titles, have already qualified. Several more of soccer's biggest brands will participate as well.

The tournament will be played in June and July of 2025, in the same window as the traditional World Cup the following summer. And so, in part, it will be a dress rehearsal and a primer for the grandest single-sport tournament in the documented history of mankind.

FIFA's Council, the organization's most powerful decision-making body, chose the U.S. at a virtual meeting this week. "The decision was reached based on the United States’ position as a proven leader in staging global events and because it would allow FIFA to maximize synergies with the delivery of the FIFA World Cup 2026, to the benefit of both tournaments and the development of football in the North American region," FIFA said in a statement.

Precise dates, match locations and format have not yet been announced. Those will be decided over the coming months and years. But many of the 11 U.S. cities and stadiums that will host 2026 World Cup games are also expected to be named as 2025 Club World Cup hosts.

Who will play in 2025 Club World Cup?

FIFA has, however, already confirmed the qualification procedures for the tournament, and the field is already taking shape.

With the U.S. chosen as the host, the field will include five clubs from North and Central America, four from Asia, four from Africa, six from South America, one from Oceania and 12 from Europe.

The clubs who've already qualified as continental champions since 2021 are:

Up to seven more spots will go to the winners of continental championships between now and 2024. The rest will go to the top-rated remaining teams in their respective confederations, based on rankings that assess club performance from 2021-2024, with one caveat: there's a two-per-country cap, unless three or more of the continental champions come from the same nation.

UEFA will be able to send at least eight non-champions, meaning Bayern Munich, PSG and other superclubs will almost certainly qualify even if they don't win the 2023-24 Champions League. But because of the two-per-country limit, Manchester United would have to win next season's Champions League to earn a spot. (Liverpool, which did not qualify for the 2023-24 Champions League, has already been ruled out.)

Those top European clubs will be the Club World Cup favorites, with Palmeiras, Flamengo and other South American clubs as their most likely non-European challengers.

The U.S. will have at least two representatives. The Sounders already qualified as the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League winners. It's unclear how the U.S. will select its second (or third) team, the extra slot it gets as the tournament's host.

What about a women's Club World Cup?

Whereas men's soccer talent is largely concentrated at European clubs, a Club World Cup would be far more competitive, and make far more sense, on the women's side, where the National Women's Soccer League and top European leagues are dueling for global supremacy.

FIFA has been discussing the concept for almost a decade. In December, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said yet again that a women's Club World Cup would be happening. But he did not give any details, and no concrete plans have been put in place.