FIFA has a big decision to make later this year - one that could see Baltimore rid its "underdog" status and become one of the top dogs within United States football.
Baltimore is one of 23 cities in the running to host FIFA World Cup matches in 2026.
There are three in Mexico, three in Canada and 17 in the US as part of United 2026 which will be the first 48-team FIFA World Cup in history.
Seven of those will miss out, while 16 will look forward to the world’s best footballers arriving on their doorstep in five years’ time.
It is set to be a fiercely fought race but Terry Hasseltine, President of Baltimore-Maryland 2026 Bid Committee, insists they have a strong case to be on the coveted list.
"Our mantra is that we are an underdog here," Hasseltine told insidethegames.
"We know that we are competing against well-known destinations in Mexico, Canada and the United States so it is our job to tell the story.
"I think our story will stand up and resonate not only in North America but globally."
Central to Baltimore’s bid is the M&T Bank Stadium, home to National Football League outfit Baltimore Ravens - a winner of two Super Bowl titles.
Built in 1998, the venue has capacity for more than 71,000 spectators and has benefitted from a recent $140 million (£101 million/€116 million) revamp.
Unlike its US rivals, including Los Angeles, Washington DC and Kansas, Baltimore does not have a team in Major League Soccer (MLS).
But should the city win the hosting rights for the World Cup, Hasseltine believes that long-held dream could be turned into a reality.
"When you look back at the World Cup in 1994 [in the US], it spearheaded the launch of the MLS," said Hasseltine.
"We don’t have an MLS team in our market.
"This is something that we want to see on the horizon.
"We have looked at it and we will continue to review.
"FIFA can come here and really make a big impact on the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland in terms of the legacy of the World Cup."
There is no doubt the popularity of football, or soccer, is on the rise in the US - largely thanks to the success of the women’s national team that has won the World Cup a record four times.
Hasseltine claims more than 60,000 children are now playing football across Maryland, increasing by 3.5 per cent every year, and he says there is a strong appetite to watch the English Premier League or Spain's La Liga matches.
"We are the hidden gem when it comes to soccer," said Hasseltine.
"When soccer shows up, our people support it."
In February, the Government of Quebec withdrew its backing of Montreal’s bid to stage the 2026 FIFA World Cup, instead focusing its efforts on the Canadian province's economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision highlighted the challenges facing Bid Committees as they seek financial support from local authorities hit hard by the global health crisis.
More than 8,500 people have died from COVID-19 in Maryland with the US recording the world’s worst death toll.
Hasseltine acknowledges how tough the past 12 months has been for citizens with the M&T Bank Stadium turned into a vaccination site but believes staging the FIFA World Cup in 2026 will revitalise the state.
"I think we have positioned ourselves to come out of the pandemic with a stronger mentality and can-do attitude," Hasseltine said.
"I think people can see that this is a long-term project and the benefits outweigh the cons.
"It would be one thing if we were trying to host the thing next year but the fact we are hosting it in 2026 is a benefit and it gives us the chance to come out of these tough times."
Hasseltine was unable to give an exact figure on how much the bid had cost to put together but anticipated an economic impact of $500 million (£361 million/€417 million) for Maryland.
"Brandon Scott is now our Mayor and his last act as City Council President was to put together a resolution in full support of the World Cup process," said Hasseltine.
"There is a full engagement behind the efforts of my small team to make sure that we are in a position to show FIFA that we are ready and have the right leadership in place to ensure that the games are hosted with success and the legacy is far beyond 2026."
FIFA reportedly considers that providing key infrastructure and services and the commercial potential of each venue are among the most important factors.
Sustainability, human rights and event legacy are also considered of the utmost importance.
Last month, Baltimore-Maryland 2026 showcased the hosting plans to the FIFA and US Soccer 2026 FIFA World Cup Host City selection delegation during a infrastructure workshop.
Hasseltine expects FIFA officials to make a site visit at some stage between July and September this year before making a decision on the 16 host cities in December.
"It would be a big feather in our cap to show the world that Baltimore is an international city," added Hasseltine when asked what it would mean for the city to win the rights.
"Baltimore is called the "Charm City" for a reason.
"It has great culture, great history and great tourism assets.
"It would be a chance for us to show the rest of the world you might know New York and LA but let us show you Baltimore and you will be really pleased with what you see."
You can never bet against the underdog in sport and, judging by Baltimore's bid, it has the ability to defy the odds.