US Soccer sticks with status quo by electing Cordeiro as new president

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) /

Instead of looking to reform the situation in US Soccer, delegates stuck with the status quo by electing Carlos Cordeiro as the next USSF president.

The United States missed out on qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. After falling to Trinidad & Tobago, the door seemed open for some major changes in the organization of US Soccer.

Bruce Arena resigned after failing hard in his second stint as the manager of the US men’s national team. Sunil Gulati announced that he would not run for another term as US Soccer president. The stage was set for reform candidates to gain prominent leadership roles in the highest levels of the American sport.

So why did the United States end up with the executive vice president under Gulati as its new president? Six change candidates — Eric Wynalda, Hope Solo, Paul Caligiuri, Steve Gans, Kyle Martino, and Mike Winograd — failed to unite in opposition. As a result, Carlos Cordeiro won the vote held on Saturday  Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter.

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Instead of change, the delegates that came together to elect the new leadership of US Soccer voted resoundingly on maintaining the status quo. Cordeiro finished ahead of Carter on each of the three ballots held, gaining successively more momentum until ending up with 68.6 percent of the vote.

What is next for American soccer?

Barring some about-face by Cordeiro, US Soccer is sticking with the status quo. Cordeiro is almost certainly going to steer a similar course as it did under Gulati. That resulted in increased revenues, but it also resulted in inertia as the organization has largely remained in place on many issues.

That includes the development of the men’s national team. That includes the pay inequalities between the men and the women who represent the United States. And it also includes the structure of the professional leagues in the country.

What we are ultimately going to see under Cordeiro will look much like Gulati’s 12-year tenure as president. It is also similar to what we would have seen with Carter as president.

US Soccer is going to continue to favor MLS at the expense of growing a more diverse pool of professional teams. It is going to continue making profit-driven decisions as its relationship with Soccer United Marketing becomes even more intertwined.

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What we won’t see, however, is a lot of change or thinking outside the box. That flew out the door as soon as the presidential race came down to Cordeiro and Carter.