LOS ANGELES, Calif.–As the World Cup soccer tournament got under way recently in South Africa, a city councilman launched an effort for Los Angeles to host some of the games in 2018 or 2022.

Eighth District Councilman Bernard Parks called on Angelenos to sign a petition on the website www.GoUSABid.com.

If the United States wins approval from the Federation Internationale de Football Association to host a future World Cup, Los Angeles would be one of the potential host cities, according to his office.

“It’s important that we send a message to FIFA, the organizing body, that the city of Los Angeles is very, very serious about our bid,” Parks said.

“It’s absolutely essential that officials can see there’s a groundswell of support for these games (in Los Angeles).”

Parks added that Los Angeles has a history of hosting major international events, including two Olympics.

FIFA held the World Cup in cities throughout the United States in 1994– including the championship match at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena–drawing a total of 3.5 million people and an average attendance of nearly 70,000 per match.

In a first round game recently, South Africa and Mexico played to a 1-1 tie, and in a highly anticipated match, the United States played England to a 1:1 tie last Saturday.

Next up on their agenda is a match June 18 against Slovenia. This is a must-win for the Americans, and the pressure is intense because a Slovenian midfielder has already predicted victory for their side.

The U.S. team includes eight African Americans on the squad’s 23-man roster–Jozi Altidore, Edson Buddle, DaMarcus Beasley, Ricardo Clark, Maurice Edu, Robbie Findley, Tim Howard, and Oguchi Onyewu.

City News Services also contributed to this story.