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Brazil defeated Italy at the Rose Bowl in the 1994 final.

While the inspectors didn’t visit California this time, Gulati wouldn’t rule out the possibility of including stadiums there if the U.S. was awarded the World Cup in 2018 or ‘22. He also invited the chance of new stadiums being built there between now and then.

“Is it likely that some stadium would be built between now and 2018 or 2022 that could become part of the eventual World Cup? The answer is yes,” he said. “Since the decision is made in 75 days or so, it wouldn’t enhance our bid at all.”

The delegation’s visit to Reliant Stadium included a meeting with Bob McNair, the owner of the NFL’s Houston Texans, who open their season there on Sunday.

For Thursday’s occasion, the field was set up for soccer, exactly as it was for the Major League Soccer All-Star game on July 28. MLS banners ringed the field, and “FIFA Delegation Tour” flashed on the lighted ribbon signs that encircle the stadium.

The venue has lured huge crowds for international matches in recent years, many of them involving teams from Mexico. The MLS All-Star game, featuring Manchester United, drew 70,728, the largest attendance for an MLS All-Star game since the first one in 1996 drew 78,416 to Giants Stadium.

McNair was encouraged by Thursday’s meeting.

“They know the great success that we’ve had with soccer games in Reliant Stadium,” McNair said. “That’s very impressive. I hope Houston succeeds in attracting them.”