Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Carlos Cordeiro, formerly Sunil Gulati's VP, elected new US Soccer president

Carlos Cordeiro, formerly Sunil Gulati's VP, elected new US Soccer president

Cordeiro received just 36.3 percent of the vote during the first round of voting, but then received 41.8 percent in the second round and finally 68.6 percent in the third and final round.

Carlos Cordeiro, the federation's vice-president, was elevated to replace the outgoing leader, Sunil Gulati, after winning a majority verdict following three ballots in a crowded field of eight.

Former MLS and USA men's national team players turned television analysts Kyle Martino and Eric Wynalda also were in contention, along with lawyers Steve Gans and Michael Winograd and retired US players Hope Solo and Paul Caligiuri. The National Council Meeting begins at 8 a.m. ET, with the election itself scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. ET. "And we could use that power of the athlete to make a statement in a time of discourse, and all the separation and all the vitriol and everything that's going around U.S. Soccer right now, that we had the ability to push our power behind someone and show that the athletes were in strength behind a single candidate and I think that's what ultimately got us that consensus". But first, Cordeiro will need to spearhead the search for the newly created position of men's GM, as well as a similar position on the women's side. Even a split of the vote between Carter and Cordeiro would have given Carter such a huge advantage that she would have likely won on the second ballot. Wynalda was third with 13.7 percent and the rest of the candidates all had less than 10 percent.

Caligiuri withdrew after taking just 0.5 percent of the vote on the first ballot while Michael Winograd and Steven Gans followed suit after the second.

Round Two didn't create a majority victor either, but Cordeiro's support went up 5.3 percent (to 41.8 percent) and Carter's support went down 1.3 percent (to 33.3 percent). Gans, Winograd and Caligiuri had dropped out before the final round. Holden said: "Getting behind Carlos Cordeiro as a candidate, we felt [better] with his skill set to be able to change some of the governance, to be transparent, to be open to working with different groups and still have worldwide relations and the business side".

Most of the rhetoric in the lead-up to the most contentious election in US Soccer history zoned in on an innate failure at the grassroots level to produce the kind of players which would help to build on a dream of winning the World Cup, potentially at home, in 2026. On Saturday, voters chose Cordeiro because they believed he is serious about change and capable of bringing it about.

Carter also was considered an establishment candidate due to her ties to SUM and MLS.

Martino, Wynalda and Solo had mounted slick campaigns vowing to provide a fresh outlook to United States soccer after the World Cup flop, which they blamed on a systemic failure to uncover and nurture young talent.

"There's been a lot of heated things said, like in any campaign. Because the World Cup is going to generate hundreds of millions of dollars to us", he said. "I don't mean this in a soppy way, but we have to agree we're all in this for the right reasons".

Cordeiro's percentage increased each round of the body's first contested election in almost two decades, rising from 36.3 to 41.8 on the second ballot. There are some differences to how Cordeiro says he will run US Soccer that will be different than Gulati.

He was born in India to a Colombian mother and Portuguese father.

Cordeiro, 61, is a former Goldman Sachs partner who has been involved with the USSF since 2007. They clamored for it over four tumultuous, unprecedented months. "I think the demographics favor that", Cordeiro said. "I think my numbers speak to that".

Kathy Carter and Carlos Cordeiro are the clear front-runners, with Carter in the lead heading into Saturday thanks to her built-in base from the Professional Council.

"Today the status quo is unacceptable", Cordeiro said.

In April, the women's team struck a deal with U.S. Soccer that included raises for the players, bigger bonuses and better accommodations. This vote comes down to one simple question: "Who can actually deliver that change?"

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