Sunil Gulati

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Kyle Martino running for USSF presidency

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Former MLS and USMNT player Kyle Martino is throwing his hat in the ring for the United States Soccer Federation presidency.

Martino, 36, launched everyonesgameusa.com to detail his candidacy. He won eight caps for the United States men’s national team between 2002-06. Martino will be taking a hiatus from his current role as a Premier League analyst for NBC Sports.

[ MORE: Kljestan, Altidore react to fight ]

Backed by Thierry Henry and David Beckham, Martino announced his candidacy on Monday, joining the first contested election since Sunil Gulati took over in 2006. Gulati is also a member of FIFA’s Executive Council dating back to 2013.

Martino said he’d resign if the U.S. failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup or missed the quarterfinals of the 2026 World Cup.

Already announced for the election are Eric Wynalda, Gulati protege Carlos Cordeiro, Boston lawyer Steve Gans and UPSL executivePaul LaPointe. Gulati hinted at his candidacy during a conference call following the USMNT’s embarrassing failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

How will US Soccer’s presidential election work?

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With plenty of scrutiny surrounding U.S. Soccer after the USMNT failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, current U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) president Sunil Gulati is under plenty of pressure to step down.

[ MORE: Cordeiro enters the race ]

Gulati has said he will not resign from his position but is yet to declare if he intends to run to be reelected as president in the upcoming election in early 2018. One thing is for sure: there will be contenders this time.

For the last 11 years Gulati has run unopposed in USSF presidential elections but several contenders are lining up and it is an intriguing time for everyone connected with U.S. Soccer. But how will all of this work?

Below is an explainer on the upcoming presidential election, who could take charge and how the voting system works.


When did candidates have to declare their interest?
Presidential candidates have to declare their interest by December 10, 2017, and have at least three formal nominations from current members to be eligible.


When does the election take place?
At the U.S. Soccer AGM on February 10, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.


Who votes?
A breakdown on who votes is below, with the percentage of the vote from each group on the right. In the Athletes Council the likes of Brad Guzan, Stu Holden and Carlos Bocanegra will be part of the voting committee, while the Professional Council includes MLS Commissioner Don Garber and North Carolina FC owner Steve Malik among others.

Youth Council: 25.8%
Adult Council: 25.8%
Professional Council: 25.8%
Athletes Council: 20%
Miscellaneous: 2.6%


Who wants to be U.S. Soccer president?
Steve Gans – A lawyer and former COO, Boston-based Gans has a strong business background and plans to fix the “pay-to-play” culture in youth soccer by using USSF funds. Would also appoint a GM/Technical Director for USSF to deal with soccer decisions.

Paul Lapointe – A long-time player, coach and official in the lower tiers of U.S. Soccer who wants promotion/relegation in the lower tiers but not in MLS. Currently the Northeast United Premiere Soccer League (UPSL) Conference Manager.

Eric Wynalda – Outspoken former USMNT standout. Promises sweeping changes to structure, youth development, adding promotion/relegation and potentially changing the MLS schedule to fall/spring to match the rest of the world. TV analyst who is likely to get plenty of attention as the anti-establishment choice.

Carlos Cordeiro – Current vice president of USSF, who announced he will run this week. Long-time friend of Gulati with a hugely impressive business background who openly admits he isn’t a soccer expert. Some believe Cordeiro would simply be like having Gulati in charge. He wants to bid for the 2027 Women’s World Cup.

Landon Donovan – USMNT legend has suggested he would like to run for president and his name would obviously get plenty of support but there are concerns over his lack of experience in terms of the business and political side of soccer.

Sunil Gulati – We don’t know if he is running for re-election but Gulati is in a very powerful position despite the USMNT’s failure. He is the head of the 2026 World Cup bid to bring the tournament to the USA, Canada and Mexico, plus he sits on the FIFA Executive Committee and is a long-time friend of current FIFA president Gianni Infantino. Even if he doesn’t stand for re-election, Gulati will likely still be on the U.S. Soccer board as a non-voting member just like previous USSF president, Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia.


Gulati protege Cordeiro running for USSF president

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MIAMI (AP) Carlos Cordeiro is running for U.S. Soccer Federation president after being brought into the governing body by current USSF President Sunil Gulati.

The 61-year-old Cordeiro, a retired Goldman Sachs executive, became an independent director of the USSF board in 2006/2007, served as treasurer starting in 2008 and was elected to a four-year term as vice president in 2016. He has been viewed as a protege and potential successor to Gulati, who has not said whether he will seek a fourth four-year term at the election in February.

[ MORE: Spurs are for real ]

Gulati has been criticized since the U.S. failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup, ending a streak of seven straight appearances.

Retired U.S. forward Eric Wynalda has taken a leave from Fox Sports to run. Boston lawyer Steve Gans and Paul LaPointe, Northeast Conference manager of the United Premier Soccer League, also are running. Retired U.S. forward Landon Donovan is said to be considering a run.

Cordeiro released a letter Wednesday announcing his candidacy.

“We need a comprehensive and fearless review of all major issues: governance, national team structure and leadership, improving soccer’s accessibility to everyone,” he wrote.

He said he would launch “Mission 26/27” to elevate the men’s national team to a higher level by the 2026 World Cup and the women’s national team by the 2027 tournament. The U.S., Mexico and Canada are bidding to host the 2026 tournament, and Morocco also has said it wants to host. Cordeiro wants the 2027 women’s tournament to be held in the U.S.

Cordeiro would establish a technical committee that would report to the USSF chief executive officer and recommend all coach hirings. He said coaches should report to the CEO or a new general manager for soccer position.

Report: USMNT interim manager to be named this weekend

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What’s next for the U.S. Men’s National Team?

[ MORE: Landon Donovan considering running for U.S. Soccer presidency ]

The first of many dominos may fall this weekend, according to ESPN FC.

The report states that the USMNT is likely to name its interim manager “some time this weekend,” however, U.S. Under-20 manager Tab Ramos likely won’t be the one named.

Ramos is reportedly seeking a full-time position as the USMNT boss, and the interim tag could be a turn off for the 51-year-old former national team midfielder.

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati had stated following former U.S. manager Bruce Arena’s departure that he expected to make a decision in “seven to 10 days.” A decision this weekend would stick with Gulati’s original intentions.

The Americans will reconvene next month when they take on Portugal on Nov. 14 in an international friendly in Leiria.

[ MORE: PST speaks with Atlanta United’s Julian Gressel ]

The match was originally scheduled to be played in Faro, but due to recent devastation in the are the fixture will be played in Leiria and all proceeds will go to the victims of wildfire damage. Portugal will also play a friendly four days prior to taking on the U.S. against Saudi Arabia at the same stadium.

Report: Landon Donovan mulling U.S. Soccer presidential run

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Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl has been all over the turmoil at United States Soccer since the men’s national team’s embarrassing World Cup qualifying ouster last week.

The latest is that many interested observers are encouraging American legend Landon Donovan to run against Sunil Gulati in February’s presidential election.

[ MORE: JPW sits down with Ederson ]

Donovan retired from playing for a second time in 2016. He’s invested in Premier League club Swansea City and tried his hand at broadcasting as well.

According to Wahl, Donovan issued no comment when asked whether he is seriously considering a run for president. Gulati didn’t confirm that he’d run for a fourth term — the maximum tenure — during his post-World Cup failure conference call, but strongly lauded his credentials for another stint.

Wahl had previously reported that lawyer Steve Gans has the required letters of nomination to run against Gulati.

While Gans would challenge Gulati and perhaps make for interesting debate and a bellwether of the appetite for change amongst the constituency, Donovan’s name would likely be enough to swing some voters regardless.

Without making any judgments about the job Donovan would do, think of it as a big entertainment name like Dwayne Johnson amongst Democrats or Donald Trump amongst Republicans who might upturn eyebrows amongst folks thinking, “Maybe we need something different.” The name value isn’t the same but perhaps it’s less polarizing to compare the runs of Jesse Ventura and Al Franken, or Jack Kemp and Steve Largent instead.

A Donovan run would likely keep U.S Soccer’s cozy relationship with Major League Soccer while perhaps emboldening those who seek big changes within the youth structure (Donovan was part of the U.S. residency program which was recently canceled in a sort of “We did it” nod to academies). His experience is varied and his network exceptional.

Donovan for President? Maybe!