Earlier today, members of US Soccer gathered in Orlando to elect their new president. The ceremony, broadcast on YouTube by US Soccer, had everything to add to the drama. From fiery, aggressive speeches (Hope Solo is clearly not a fan of Kathy Carter or Carlos Cordeiro), to confusion and technical issues. There was even a re-vote. Yet somehow, it was an amazing reflection of the current state of US Soccer.
As the election process goes round-by-round, the ultimate result was clear from the beginning. Here are the results from the first round of voting.The establishment likely breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that both of their candidates had separated themselves. The message from each candidate about the necessity of “change” had fallen onto the unfertile ground. Don Garber’s MLS was unmoved on its support of Kathy Carter, along with the NWSL.
Paul Caligiuri informed the event’s moderator, former president Sunil Gulati, that he would drop out of the race after the first series of votes. Round Two showed little sign of a revolution.Current Vice President Carlos Cordeiro increased a lead that would not wane. Michael Winograd thanked the Federation and seceded. Prior to the third round of voting, Steve Gans would also drop, leaving only five candidates: Carlos Cordeiro (VP of US Soccer), Kathy Carter (Head of SUM), Eric Wynalda, Hope Solo, and Kyle Martino (Former National Team players).
The third round sealed it.
What can we expect from President Cordeiro?
Well, if you ask Hope Solo, she would say “more of the same.” He has experience in the organization and helped get U.S. Soccer to where it is today. Cordeiro is a business guy. He intends to hire a General Manager of the USMNT and a separate one for the USWNT because he has no soccer knowledge whatsoever. That being said, do not expect a USMNT coach announcement anytime soon. He will focus on raising the budget of the Federation, primarily through an all-out bid for the 2026 World Cup. You can read his platform here.
It is a new age for U.S. Soccer. I would have liked to see a more drastic change at the top, but regardless, this election is a turning point. The entire election campaign, really, was a sign that missing the 2018 World Cup may have been the greatest thing that could have happened. The awakening that Bruce Arena’s failure brought may have changed the course of soccer in the country, not just at the top with the USMNT/WNT, but at the youth levels, the futsal courts, the Paralympic team, and everywhere else soccer is played in the United States.