Sports round-up: What you missed week of Jan. 31

World Cup final comes to MetLife Stadium

The FIFA World Cup announced Sunday that MetLife Stadium, home to the New York Jets and New York Giants, will host the final round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The venue gives the World Cup the opportunity to have the largest attendance in history, given MetLife’s seating capacity of 82,500.

MetLife beat out two other competitors for the final spot – AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas and Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. One concern raised by fans was the artificial turf surface of MetLife that has a history of causing injuries. FIFA requires a real grass surface, and MetLife will accommodate the demand. 


The entirety of the 2026 tournament will be played throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, with games mainly being played at football stadiums. The 2022 World Cup, which featured Argentina beating France in a shootout, was watched by over 1.5 billion people. The biggest sports stage in the world will now come to East Rutherford.

Tony Snell spent nine years in the NBA, one shy of being able to receive lifetime benefits for him and his family. Photo courtesy of @TheDunkCentral, X

Tony Snell fails to sign with NBA team

The deadline of Friday, Feb. 2 passed without veteran Tony Snell signing with an NBA team, meaning he came up just one year short of the NBA’s 10-year requirement to receive lifelong benefits. Snell’s story became viral over the past two weeks as NBA players voiced support for the former first round pick to be able to sign with a team.

Had Snell been signed, it would have triggered the clause in the NBA Players Association retiree benefits program that allows for healthcare for both players and their families for life. Part of the reason Snell pushed so hard to sign with a team is because of his two sons, Karter and Kenzo, who are both on the autism spectrum.

Now that the deadline has passed, Snell can no longer receive these benefits for both him and his family. Snell played nine seasons in the NBA and was a first round pick of the Chicago Bulls in 2013.

Kylian Mbappé reportedly joining Real Madrid

The current best soccer player in the world, Kylian Mbappé, has decided to follow in the footprints of Lionel Messi and Neymar Júnior and depart from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Ligue 1. Messi famously departed for Inter Miami of the MLS back in June, and Neymar followed suit a month later, this time for Al Hilal of the Saudi Pro League. 

Now, it’s Mbappé who is departing for Real Madrid of LaLiga, the Spanish professional football league. Although the move is not official, it has been reported as being done by multiple major news outlets, most notably ESPN. This move has long been rumored to have been in the making, and the time is finally right for the 25-year-old to make the first major club move of his career.


Bill Belichick not coaching in 2024

After 24 seasons coaching the New England Patriots, which included six Super Bowl rings, future Hall of Fame head coach Bill Belichick hit the free agent coaching market in a year that saw seven openings. Despite the demand for head coaches across the league, Belichick failed to land with a team.

Throughout his time in New England, Belichick set several coaching records, and the duo of him and Tom Brady has gone down as the most successful coach-player duo of all time. When Belichick announced his departure in mid-January, teams such as the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Commanders showed interest, but both eventually went in different directions.

Unless Belichick takes a coordinator position, which is viewed as highly unlikely, this will be the first NFL season without Belichick coaching since 1974. The 71-year-old is now expected to take the season off from coaching and will look to return as a head coach for a team in 2025.


Featured photo courtesy of MetLive Stadium, Flickr