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MLS stars begin endorsing USSF candidates ahead of election

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Several of Major League Soccer’s top players are voicing their opinions about the next U.S. Soccer presidential election.

There has been an overwhelming amount of support as of late for two candidates in particular though; former Fox Sports analyst Eric Wynalda and on-leave NBC Sports pundit Kyle Martino.

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Both Wynalda and Martino are former players, who are currently in the field of eight candidates that will go toe-to-toe in February’s election.

The other candidates are former SUM president Kathy Carter, former players Paul Caligiuri and Hope Solo, USSF vice president Carlos Cordeiro and lawyers Steve Gans and Michael Winograd.

Here’s what some of MLS’ biggest stars have had to say about their endorsements ahead of next month’s USSF election.

NASL expresses concerns to USSF over presidential election

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The ever-growing feud between U.S. Soccer and NASL took to another chapter on Thursday, when the latter filed a letter to the former regarding concerns about the upcoming U.S. Soccer Federation presidential election.

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NASL — whose Division II status is still pending in the U.S. courts — has raised several questions about the upcoming election process, including how Major League Soccer will influence the election.

As it stands, MLS has 57 percent of the voting share on the USSF Professional Council, with nine of the 16 delegated allocated.

The field of eight candidates remaining in the election, include former Soccer United Marketing chief Kathy Carter, as well as Kyle Martino, Eric Wynalda and Paul Caligiuri — each of whom were former U.S. Men’s National Team players.

Additionally, former U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo, Carlos Cordeiro, Steve Gans and Michael Winograd have all been deemed eligible to run for presidency in February 2018.

Below is the full letter constructed by the NASL interim commissioner Rishi Sehgal.

USSF says nominations submitted for 8 president candidates

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CHICAGO (AP) The U.S. Soccer Federation says it received the required three letters of nomination for eight candidates in its presidential election, one fewer than the total of people who announced their intention to run.

The USSF is conducting background checks on the candidates whose nominations were received by Tuesday night’s deadline. The governing body said the check is to ascertain that a candidate has “no conviction or no contest plea to a felony or crime of moral turpitude” and it will announce the candidate slate after completing the process.

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Sunil Gulati, the USSF president since 2006, decided after the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup that he will not seek a fourth four-year term.

The nine people who announced they are running include former men’s national team players Paul Caligiuri, Eric Wynalda and Kyle Martino; U.S. women’s goalkeeper Hope Solo; Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter; USSF vice president Carlos Cordeiro; Boston lawyer Steve Gans; New York lawyer Michael Winograd; and Paul LaPointe, Northeast Conference manager of the United Premier Soccer League.

The election will be held in February.

SUM president Kathy Carter close to U.S. Soccer presidency run

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News has surfaced over the last 24 hours suggesting that Sunil Gulati will not run for re-election next year when his time as U.S. Soccer president is up, and now it seems almost certain that he won’t.

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On Sunday, ESPN FC reported that Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter is in the final stages of putting her name in the hat to run for U.S. Soccer presidency.

Carter could make a decision on running within the “next 48 hours,” according to ESPN FC.

The report states that Carter has been urged by both Gulati and Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber to run for the presidency.

“I am exploring a run for President of the United States Soccer Federation because soccer can and should become the leading sport in America, and I believe I could help make that vision a reality,” Carter told ESPN FC.

“The game of soccer has been a consistent thread through every aspect of my life. I have spent over 40 years as a player, executive and fan of the beautiful game. Going forward, our growth and advancement as a sport requires excellence at every level — from our youth and adult programs to our professional leagues and our national teams.”

Carter would replace Gulati in the field of eight candidates, should she decide to run, and she would be the only female in contention for the position.

The current SUM president has had a close relationship with MLS in the past, working with the league office previously as vice president of corporate marketing in the mid-to-late 1990s.

Kyle Martino running for USSF presidency

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

Martino, 36, launched 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.

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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.