With the U.S. Men’s National Team’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati decided not to run for reelection. His decision to step down left the door open for change…or so Americans thought. This past Saturday at the 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Orlando, Florida, U.S Soccer elected Carlos Cordeiro the 32nd president of U.S. Soccer. On the surface, Cordeiro seems like a respectable choice, Harvard graduate, former Goldman Sachs employee, yet he is lacking in one particularly important area. Not unlike his predecessor, Cordeiro has no real background in soccer (aside from playing in high school) and thus little knowledge of the sport aside from his time as vice president of U.S Soccer under none other than Sunil Gulati.
Players (current and former) and fans alike wasted no time, as they have already begun to publicly criticize Cordeiro. One of whom is former U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo; Solo’s name was also on the U.S Soccer presidential ballot and during her speech at the AGM she had a lot to say:
“I was a player for 20 years, and I saw first-hand what Carlos Cordeiro’s idea of change is. You cannot, as a vice president, claim you are the lone voice for change while all of this happened under your watch. And you as delegates cannot buy that,” she said. “He was part of a federation that generated millions of dollars off the backs of its players, and much of it off the back of its women’s players, who have been the economic engine of this federation for years, yet treated like second-class citizens.”
Hope Solo poses with Carlos Cordeiro after being honored for her 200th cap at a U.S. Women’s National Team Match in San Diego on Jan. 21, 2018 (https://www.si.com/soccer/2018/02/10/hope-solo-us-soccer-election-speech-president-cordeiro-carter)
It’s no question that Solo isn’t a fan of the newly elected president, but the same cannot be said for Gianni Infantino, FIFA president. Cordeiro received a Valentine’s Day gift in the form of Infantino’s support of his presidency and the United States joint bid for the 2026 World Cup. Infantino has not been short of criticism himself, often finding himself the center of attention for numerous corruption scandals. As an avid U.S Soccer fan I can safely say that I don’t find any of this reassuring and instead believe that Cordeiro and Infantino are a match made in hell.
Unfortunately, U.S. Soccer has elected another “insider” as president and we’ll have to wait at least another four years before we see any real change.
*All opinions are my own, and as you can tell I am clearly not happy with the election of Carlos Cordeiro as U.S. Soccer President.