The time to decide who will be the next USSF President is back for the first time since 2006. The candidates for this position come with a wide range of abilities and relevant experience. From former players to soccer execs, all are vying to make U.S. Soccer great again.
The progress of the game further in the U.S. will no longer include current president for the past 12 years, Sunil Gulati. A new president will try to breathe new life into a federation that has been in a coma for some time. Let’s look at this ragtag group of eight misfits wanting to be chosen as your next USSF president on Saturday, February 10.
Who Will Be the Next USSF President?
Caligiuri is a former USMNT player who is best known for scoring the goal against Trinidad and Tobago that qualified the U.S. for the 1990 World Cup. After retiring, Caligiuri immersed himself in coaching all levels of soccer in the U.S. Currently, he is the manager of the NPSL side Orange County FC. Out of all the candidates, Caligiuri has received the lowest amount of media attention.
His platform is to bring the entire youth soccer, Olympic Development Program, U.S. Club Soccer, and talent ID program together. The main focus is on player development. Realistic ideas but without constant eyes on him, it will be hard to stay relevant in this boisterous group.
The president of the marketing arm of MLS and U.S. Soccer, Soccer United Marketing (SUM). She is responsible for winning the marketing rights to Copa America Centenario after the fallout from the FIFA scandal affected the original holders. An acquisition allowed U.S. Soccer to put $140 million dollars in their funds.
Like the recent president, Carter’s number one goal is to make the sport more money. She also wants to change the women’s pay inequality and pay-to-play. She is a proven and balanced executive with the ear of the right people to win this election.
The current U.S. Soccer vice president is putting his hat into the ring. He’s a former Goldman Sachs executive and is by no means a soccer expert. To correct this blind spot he has planned to become the great designator. His first move is to hire a general manager that reports to the CEO. He then wants to put together a commercial rights committee with an independent leader to eliminate conflicts of interests.
If it were any other year, Cordeiro would be able to walk right into the position. The current climate has ignited a cry for change and has hurt his chances. He will have to work his political acumen to get supporters into his camp.
A Boston lawyer who has served as the head of many soccer projects. Gans created a campaign to take on the incumbent Gulati far before the USMNT failed to reach this year’s World Cup. He is running on a platform of leadership, reform, and fairness.
A ground-up reform is what is needed in his eyes starting with youth soccer. He also wants professional leagues to start working together while also elevating the status of U.S. Open Cup. It should be interesting to see if the guy with a big headstart pays off.
A former USMNT player and current studio analyst and color commentator wants to be your next USSF president. He sees his relevant experience as first hand as a player and parent seeing each level of play in this country.
Martino would like to create an organic love affair with the beautiful game by empowering amateur leagues, building more futsal courts, and investing federation money into NWSL. His public image is proof of his passion for making the game better for all. This will garner support from the public. But will it be enough to catch the attention of insiders?
The biggest name on this list, the former USWNT goalkeeper wants to empower underprivileged youth with a USSF backed fund to help them pay to play for top youth clubs. At the same time, she wants transparency for each decision the federation makes.
The two-time World Cup champion faces a bit of a snafu in her candidacy. Solo still has a pending criminal case and will not stand trial until after the election. She has to try to convince voters that this will not have any effect on her presidency.
This New York lawyer and former professional player and general manager is seen by most to bring together the worlds of business and technical sides. He wants to work with private businesses to fund youth soccer and coaching education.
Out of all the candidates, he seems to be the best of both worlds. He has said all the rights things both sides of the soccer aisle want to hear. It all depends if it strikes a chord with the right people.
The most iconic player in U.S. Soccer wants to go from being captain on the pitch to be the captain of the federation. Wynalda’s website is full of videos on each of his platforms that clearly outline the steps he will take to get it done.
He wants to see a major shift that will align with the European schedule and to reorganize the pyramid for stability. He seems like the favorite choice. But he is just the loudest guy in the room. With only a handful of realistic ideas, it should be interesting if it is enough to charm the voters.
Who is Right for the Job?
Gulati has run unopposed since 2006. After the U.S. Men’s National Team lost their ticket to the World Cup, it ignited a demand for change.
A new face will allow for the beautiful game to progress in the U.S. Eight candidates have appeared to become the next leader of the game.
The candidates are all preaching a similar stance, transparency, but that cannot be it. Each made a wish list rather than realistic steps to evolve the USSF into its next phase. There are a lot of great ideas, but will they be met with action? The person that can combine fantasy with reality will be the best choice.
Come February 10, a new president will be elected and the fate of U.S. Soccer will be in their hands.