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NWSL announces list of allocated players for this season

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CHICAGO (AP) The National Women’s Soccer League has designated 23 Americans and 11 Canadians as allocated players for the upcoming season.

The salaries of allocated players are paid by the U.S. and Canadian soccer federations. The league’s nine teams all have at least one allocated American player. Seven teams have an allocated Canadian player.

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Among the newcomers on the U.S. allocated list were Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage) and Taylor Smith (Washington Spirit). New Canadians included Adriana Leon (Sky Blue FC) and Rebecca Quinn (Washington Spirit).

Those who are no longer allocated included Sydney Leroux (Orlando Pride), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride) and Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC). Morgan Brian, who is playing in France with Lyon, also wasn’t allocated. Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe was no longer on Canada’s list.

Sifting through the ashes of the U.S. Soccer election

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It has now been four days since Carlos Cordeiro was elected president of the United States Soccer Federation, and he’s changed absolutely nothing and stands as a monumental failure.

Jokes aside, it’s a challenge to find the right feeling for this new era of American soccer. The response to Cordeiro’s election was entirely predictable for two significant crowds.

[ MORE: JPW talks with Carlos Cordeiro ]

First, there is the disappointment that flowed freely from the fringes of the anti-establishment group, the bunch that generally wields #ProRelForUSA as a prime solution to the question of what’s kept our 20-year-old top flight club soccer league from taking a Louisville Slugger to all of the top talents at the Bernabeu and Old Trafford and sprinkling them between San Jose, Kansas City, New York City, Wichita, Buffalo, and Ismay, Montana.

Second, there’s the group of MLS-first honks and a legion of those who either directly benefit from the league or enjoy credit for its incredible growth. Their responses are largely a combination of exhaling and castigating the masses who wished to see monumental change on the voting floor. The people had their say, and they love chanting “I believe that we will win.” They are perhaps a bit easier to identify now that they will criticize both Bruce Arena and Sunil Gulati now that they’re positive they are no longer in charge.

But Sunday’s election wasn’t just one for the extremists. It was monitored with interest from people all over our world, magnified by the fact that Arena and Gulati’s USMNT failed to qualify for the World Cup out of the most forgiving confederational set-up this side of Oceania.

[ MORE: The soccer world reacts ]

The sheer number of texts or calls I received from both big time soccer fans and casual observers was almost equal, and people were ticked off: How did the United States not learn from their failure?

I wanted to give a proper reply, and not just shoot off some vitriol that has been sitting on top of my chest for months. Part of this was because I felt Cordeiro proffered more vision and personality than Carter, who I had assumed might dance to the crown. And I didn’t say it in the run-up to the election, because I was hoping for better, and I didn’t want to say it afterwards until I was 100 percent sure it was coming from a place of honesty.

SIDE NOTE NO. 1 — Before we go any further, all of this isn’t to say that Cordeiro won’t be a weapon of positive growth who leaves soccer to soccer people — he’s said all soccer hires will be recommended to him by soccer people — keeps the business on track, opens up youth soccer so parents don’t have to downgrade their vehicle to pay a “technical director’s” salary, separates MLS and SUM from U.S. Soccer, and makes it so tiny Ismay 16 SC can have the same opportunity to grow into a soccer giant as the New York Red Bulls. He’s come to the game armed with business acumen, and he may be willing to make some unorthodox moves that require “United Passions 2: This One Doesn’t Stink Because of Carlos.”

The feeling I had all along is this: Almost every voter in that room cares deeply about soccer, but almost every voter has also risen to their current position of influence due to the current system. Many have been involved in the game since the rise of the USMNT and USWNT programs. They’ve seen the massive growth of soccer in the United States over whichever period you choose, because it’s been moving upward since the early 1990s if not earlier. The idea of an admin outsider topping two establishment candidates was a lofty one (and we should applaud everyone who went after it, especially Wynalda and Martino for currying enough favor to make fear a legitimate feeling for those in power).

[ MORE: Zidane gets it right vs. PSG ]

Largely, my gut says the voters would’ve gladly welcomed Sunil Gulati back for another term if he just owned the USMNT failure with true humility (Oddly enough, had the Yanks not qualified for Russia with Klinsmann through a second cycle, he probably would’ve been altogether safe to make his next hire, but that’s another story).

He didn’t come close to handling the situation with any sense of even PR-induced responsibility, and when a federation is in tumult a lot of perceived condescension that may’ve been overlooked as eccentric or confident during the halcyon days just looks like uppity nonsense. Whether or not the emperor is actually naked, he sure appears so.

So who were the voters going to be drawn to? The handpicked successor, by all accounts Kathy Carter, didn’t seem likely to get the job done without appealing to voters with a modicum of change-driven authenticity. The upstarts, led by Eric Wynalda and Kyle Martino, may have ultimately appeared too similar to voters as former players with broadcasting acumen (For what it’s worth, NBC affiliation aside, Martino struck me as a potential winner from Day One of his candidacy while there is no denying the immense headway won by the relentless campaigning of Wynalda).

It would’ve taken the soccer campaigning equivalent of baseball’s perfect game for Steve Gans, Michael Winograd, or Paul Caligiuri to project into the top-tier, and Hope Solo’s troubled past was likely a non-starter (despite some exceptional work on the trail).

Hindsight being 20/20, is it any surprise that a man who was described as Sunil Gulati’s protege but clearly wasn’t in lockstep with the embattled boss was enough of a chance for the voters? The first vote saw Cordeiro emerge with a slim lead of Carter, and only Cordeiro and Martino gained in both the second and third ballot.

SIDE NOTE NO. 2 — Soccer Twitter has stirred in me what amounts to an occasional but very real paranoia about the establishment, and there was a part of me that harbored the following conspiracy theory: Carter’s low profile candidacy and the stories of Don Garber and Sunil Gulati courting voters for her was simply designed to get people comfortable with the idea of Cordeiro being establishment but not the establishment’s choice (It’s worth noting that this conspiracy theory does not require Cordeiro to be in the know if you want it to be extra nutty). At the right hour of any given day, I will fight you on behalf of this conspiracy theory. Most hours, though, I just laugh and make more coffee.

[ MORE: Cordeiro’s open letter to U.S. Soccer ]

Perhaps, as some have suggested, there would’ve been a better chance of a revolution if there were only one or two rivals to Carter or Cordeiro, but I don’t believe the election would’ve carried as much water with the soccer public without the controlled chaos caused by the nine person pool (a ninth candidate, Paul Lapointe, was eliminated from contention in late December).

But as I reflect on the tumult of the fall, the candidates announcements, their campaigning, and the election, it seems like it was always going to be Cordeiro. He declared his candidacy before Gulati announced he wouldn’t run, agreed to have a soccer committee recommend all hirings, and would have the establishment’s resume without carrying its recent failures.

If any change was going to come, it was going to come with a buffer of four years (and next time, can we please have presidential and VP tickets? Don’t you want to know right away who your president wants as his or her right hand man or woman?!? What if you were choosing between Carter-Cordeiro, Martino-Winograd, Gans-Solo, and Wynalda-Caligiuri?).

And when we’re breaking down the 2022 presidential election, Cordeiro is likely going to be carrying a USMNT World Cup berth and hosting duties for the 2026 World Cup. His staff and he have to know that the failure to qualify was a managerial blip on the radar, which means how U.S. Soccer treats youth soccer, the women’s game, and club ball over the next four years is going to make the difference. That’s the closest I’ll get to cup half-full.

Hope Solo says Athletes Council “cracked under pressure”

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There was a solid mix of outrage and displeasure in Saturday’s U.S. Soccer presidential election outcome, and one of the candidates that came out on the losing side of things was “very disappointed” in the Athletes Council, which helped steer the eventual winner to victory.

[ MORE: Salah, Firmino score as Liverpool tops Southampton ]

Carlos Cordeiro was named the successor to current president Sunil Gulati after receiving over 68 percent of the final round votes, beating out Kathy Carter and Kyle Martino — who each finished with 10.6 percent of the vote.

The Athletes Council tallied up exactly 20 percent of the overall votes during the final voting process, all of which were allocated to Cordeiro.

Former U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper and fellow candidate Hope Solo believes the Athletes Council “cracked under pressure.”

“I’m not surprised because [the Athlete Council], under a lot of pressure, and I’ve seen athletes time and time and time again crack under pressure, crack under fear, start to behave in a way that is very much a group thinking mindset,” Solo said on Saturday following the USSF presidential decision.

“And right now in this day and age, we need individuals, we need leaders that know how to unite people, but we still have to remember to think for ourselves as individuals.

“And with the bloc vote from the Athlete Council, it was very disheartening because they represent different people, different cultures, different strengths, different weaknesses. And they don’t all have to think alike.”

Solo acquired slightly over one percent of the final round voting.

Cordeiro, U.S. Soccer world react to his election as president

US Youth Soccer
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Pledging unity, new U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro kept his remarks short and sweet after winning nearly 69 percent of the third vote on Saturday.

[ MORE: How Cordeiro won the vote ]

“I’d like to thank Sunil and our board for their tireless service. Sunil for introducing me to the game 10 or 11 years ago. For those of you who didn’t vote for me, I’m going to work to earn your support and trust over the next four years.”

Others reacted… differently….

Carlos Cordeiro elected new U.S. Soccer president

@CACSoccer
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Carlos Cordeiro is the new president of U.S. Soccer, winning nearly 69 percent of the vote in the third and decisive round.

[ MORE: JPW talks with Cordeiro ]

The former Goldman Sachs executive was billed as Sunil Gulati’s protege upon declaring his candidacy, and he held off fellow establishment candidate Kathy Carter for the gig.

Kyle Martino and Kathy Carter each had 10.6 percent of the final vote, with Eric Wynalda slipping into fourth after finishing third in the first two rounds. Hope Solo finished with 1.4 percent of the vote.

Paul Caligiuri withdrew after the first round of voting, while Michael Winograd and Steve Gans departed after the second.

Skeptics about the U.S. Soccer “establishment” would’ve been fired up when technical problems stopped the first vote in its tracks.

The first round of voting had the two “establishment” candidates well in front, but neither grabbed the 50 percent needed to negate a second vote:

  1. Carlos Cordeiro — 36.3 percent
  2. Kathy Carter — 34.6 percent
  3. Eric Wynalda — 13.7 percent
  4. Kyle Martino — 8.6 percent
  5. Steve Gans — 4.1 percent
  6. Hope Solo — 1.6 percent
  7. Michael Winograd — .6 percent
  8. Paul Caligiuri — .5 percent

The second round saw Carter and Wynalda lose votes as Cordeiro moved closer to clinching the presidency.

  1. Carlos Cordeiro — 41.8 percent
  2. Kathy Carter — 33.3 percent
  3. Eric Wynalda — 10.8 percent
  4. Kyle Martino — 10.2 percent
  5. Steve Gans — 2.4 percent
  6. Hope Solo — 1.5 percent
  7. Michael Winograd — 0 percent
  8. Paul Caligiuri — withdrew after first round