Over the last several months, the team of writers at World Soccer Talk have been interviewing many of the candidates to learn more about their ideas and policies of how to right the US soccer ship, which has been taking on water for several years due to inefficient leadership, conflicts of interests and a lack of transparency.
In December, we reached out to Kathy Carter’s team to request an interview. We followed up with several interview requests in January and February, but the firm that’s representing her (and Major League Soccer) failed to respond.
In speaking with many of the candidates running to overturn the establishment, we were impressed by the amount of passion and work these individuals have put into their respective campaigns. It proves to us that there are smart-minded people throughout this great country that are putting the sport first instead of, like USSF-SUM, focusing on generating revenue as their primary goal thereby suffocating soccer and preventing it from rampant growth throughout the nation. What has also become apparent to us over the course of the past few months are the lengths MLS and Soccer United Marketing will go to maintain control of the purse strings and levers of power at the USSF. Carter’s candidacy was based on what can be inferred as a response to the issue of SUM’s involvement with the USSF becoming a central issue in the campaign. Even Carlos Cordeiro, long a stalwart of the US Soccer establishment, has questioned the ties between the federation and SUM, a clear indication that it’s on the minds of not only those on social media but many important stakeholders in the game.
At the same time, Steve Gans, Michael Winograd, Hope Solo and Paul Caligiuri have run strong campaigns. In a different election with fewer candidates, it’s quite possible that one or more of these candidates may have stood out.
Eric Wynalda and Kyle Martino have stood out from the pack with thoughtful, detailed plans as to how they would reform US Soccer not only at the national team levels, but the professional game, and adult and youth soccer on both the men’s and women’s side.
After considerable discussion and analysis, World Soccer Talk has therefore decided to endorse the following candidates for USSF President: Kyle Martino and Eric Wynalda.
Martino and Wynalda’s platforms were both so well thought out and executed that we were unable to endorse one individual. Both of them impressed us greatly, which is why we’ve decided to endorse both as leaders that can transform US Soccer. At this time creating a coalition of groups and individuals eager for change is more important than backing an individual candidate for the Presidency. We believe either Wynalda or Martino can lead such a coalition and have faith that the two candidates will stay true to their campaign promises and will enact change from the grassroots through to the national teams of this great country.
Instead of remaining silent, we believe that it’s important to voice our opinion at this crucial time in the history of the sport in the United States.
For too long, the current regime has been riding the coattails of the success that the US Women’s National Team and US Men’s National Team achieved during the past two decades. By doing so, they’ve failed to address so many of the other issues that are apparent throughout the country such as pay-to-play, solidarity payments, the scarcity of full-time scouts, gender bias and major contracts that usurp the power, money and leverage to a league that has goals that are not aligned with the US Soccer Federation.
It’s time for a change. And not just a changing of the guard, but a radical change that will unseat the establishment and replace them with new ideas, greater transparency and more accountability.
At every level of US Soccer, the current regime of Sunil Gulati, Don Garber, Kathy Carter and Carlos Cordeiro have failed us.
In conclusion, we want to see what’s best for soccer in the United States, which is why we’re jointly endorsing Martino and Wynalda for USSF President.
World Soccer Talk editor and publisher
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