Sunil Gulati announced on Monday that, as expected, he will not run for re-election as the President of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
And the candidates to take over his role keep arriving.
On Tuesday the President of Soccer United Marketing (SUM), Kathy Carter, took a leave of absence from the marketing arm of Major League Soccer to announce her intention to run for USSF president.
“I’m excited to announce my candidacy for President of US Soccer,” Carter said. “Soccer can, and should, become the leading sport in America, and I intend to make that vision a reality. Thrilled for you to get to know me and my vision for the game.”
Carter is the eighth candidate to announce their intention to run and the first female candidate. She joins former USMNT players Paul Caliguiri, Kyle Martino and Eric Wynalda, plus USSF vice-president Carlos Cordeiro and Steve Gans, Paul LaPointe and Michael Winograd.
The eight candidates have until Dec. 12 (next Monday) to reveal they have received at least three nominations for their candidacy from current board members, with Carter confirming she has yet to receive the three nominations.
Carter has worked closely with outgoing president Gulati (who has been in charge of USSF since 2006) as the head of SUM and she is a former vice president of MLS, as well as having 25 years of experience in brokering deals at the top level of American soccer after being on the 1994 World Cup organizing committee. She has also been involved in organizing multiple Women’s World Cup tournaments and is a huge advocate of the USWNT.
To many, Carter represents the establishment and would be a status quo option. It seems that those who want wholesale changes following the hugely successful financial era of Gulati — albeit an era coupled with a lack of success on the pitch for the USMNT — will not get it from her.
In her vision she states that she will “lead the Federation with the goal of making soccer the leading sport in America” and will strive to find “new people, ideas, and perspectives that are required to reach new levels of sporting and commercial success.”
Due to her close ties with USSF and business acumen, many believe that Carter will receive plenty of support from those who would’ve voted for the beleaguered current USSF president. Believe it or not, Gulati would have been the favorite to win the election had he run, despite being criticized heavily following the USMNT’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Gulati will now focus on heading up the 2026 World Cup bid committee and his role on the FIFA Council, while the race to replace him as the head of U.S. Soccer heats up.