U.S. Soccer vice president Carlos Cordeiro
announced Wednesday that he will run for U.S. Soccer president in a move that adds a twist to the presidential race.
Cordeiro, a former
partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs, joined U.S. Soccer as its first independent director, later became its treasurer and was elected vice president in 2016.
Cordeiro served on
U.S. Soccer's World Cup 2022 bid committee board of directors and is on the 2026 United Bid Committee board. The joint bid among the USA, Canada and Mexico is seeking to awarded the rights to the 2026
World Cup, a decision expected to be made at the FIFA Congress in Moscow in June.
Cordeiro has worked closely with current president Sunil Gulati
as Gulati's soccer role
has expanded. Gulati serves on the FIFA Council and is chairman of the 2026 United Bid Committee.
Gulati attended the recent USASA mid-year meeting in Lake Tahoe but did not confirm
whether he'll run for president. Recent changes to U.S. Soccer's by-laws allow the president and vice president to serve for three four-year terms. An exception allowed Gulati, who pushed for the term
limits, to run for one more term if he so desired Cordeiro's statement: Today, I announce my candidacy for
President of the United States Soccer Federation.
Our sport is at a critical juncture, and while we have accomplished much together, there are
significant challenges to address if we are to consistently fulfill our potential. These challenges require new leadership with an inclusive, collaborative and dynamic approach to establish our great
nation as a real force in domestic and international soccer.
We need a comprehensive and fearless review of all major issues: governance, National Team
structure and leadership, improving soccer’s accessibility to everyone, and more.
As part of my candidacy, I am launching Mission 26/27 - a vision
to align all levels of U.S. Soccer operations and ensure that the Men’s National Team not only qualifies for but excels at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and elevates both our men’s and
women’s National Teams to the highest levels of achievement in 2026 and 2027.
The role of President requires a consensus builder with a focus on
sound governance, who can bring stakeholders together toward a common goal. I bring the unique blend of outside business leadership expertise, a proven track record within U.S. Soccer and the
global game, and the respect of industry colleagues to this role.
I humbly submit the following priorities of my candidacy, which aims to promote
important areas of growth through open and inclusive leadership:
· Governance: My Presidency will take a team-based, transparent and collaborative
approach that I believe has been lacking. The role and responsibilities of the President cannot be confused with that of the CEO. The principal roles of the President, and by extension the Board,
include overseeing strategy that is implemented by the CEO, and facilitating discussion to ensure all actions taken by the Board are fully vetted. The CEO is responsible for the day-to-day management
of the Federation.
· National Team Programs and Mission 26/27: Our Women’s National Team program has set the bar for what we can achieve on
the world stage. For our women to continue their success, and for our men to excel at the same level, all of our National Team programs deserve world-class coaches, facilities and infrastructure
consistent with the highest competition. Furthermore, Mission 26/27 can be achieved on our home turf. There is no more important strategic priority over the next 224 days than winning the bid to
co-host the men’s FIFA World Cup in 2026, and I believe we can and should host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2027.
As a first step toward
this goal, I propose establishing a Technical Committee, reporting to the CEO of U.S. Soccer, to recommend all national team coaches before appointments are approved by the Board. In addition, all
coaches should report to the CEO, or a new position, General Manager for Soccer, who would report to the CEO, in the same way other Federations run national team programs.
Additional investment is also needed in non-traditional soccer disciplines, such as our Paralympians and Futsal, recognizing the contributions of all National Team
· Youth Soccer: Youth soccer is the foundation from which we will build our future. The Federation must work harder with all its
members to create opportunities and grow participation, particularly in underprivileged and diverse communities. For example, among other things, we must invest in more coaches and coach education
programs. It is vital that the Federation helps make soccer affordable, and supports the grassroots volunteers who play a crucial role in identifying and developing players at the youngest ages. U.S.
Soccer must also ensure member and national team programs are aligned and complementary. When introducing new initiatives, all potential impacts on existing programs must be carefully
· Adult Soccer: The Federation must engage the millions of former Youth players to grow Adult programs, including further
investment in existing tournaments and new events to drive membership. U.S. Soccer should actively link the millions of soccer supporters across the country with adult soccer programs and stronger fan
engagement initiatives. We need to make sure our participants are supporters, and our supporters become participants for life, showing the same level of passionate involvement that other nations
exhibit for the “beautiful game.”
· Pro Leagues: I recognize the importance of all professional leagues and that their
prosperity is crucial to developing a competitive soccer ecosystem in our country. U.S. Soccer must work with professional leagues and teams to help develop better players, coaches and referees. The
Federation has been critical to the evolution of the National Women's Soccer League, and we need to ensure that it continues to prosper.
Athletes: In addition to ensuring that our top athletes have world-class facilities and coaching, the Federation must keep current and former players involved with the sport at all levels. It
would be my priority to help mentor and recruit athletes to the Athlete Council, as well as further integrate them into the governance of U.S. Soccer through committees and task forces, as well as
other appointments and elected positions.
· Commercial: U.S. Soccer is privileged to have built strong relationships with corporate
sponsors and other partners that finance the Federation’s strategic plans. It is the responsibility of the President and the Board to continue generating value for U.S. Soccer by staying
laser-focused on its mission to make soccer, in all its forms, a preeminent sport in the U.S., and to develop soccer at all recreational and competitive levels.
Serving as U.S. Soccer’s first Independent Director in 2006, I assumed increasing responsibilities over time including overseeing the Federation’s finances as Treasurer. In 2016,
you elected me Vice President. Currently, I sit on the CONCACAF Council, which oversees all CONCACAF activities in our region, as the elected representative for the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Last year,
I was appointed to serve on FIFA's Stakeholders’ Committee, which oversees relationships with players, clubs, leagues and member associations. It is critically important that the U.S. Soccer
President commands international respect given our ambitions to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup alongside our CONCACAF partners, Canada and Mexico, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in
Over the course of my career, I have successfully built coalitions and consensus toward a common goal, and served on boards of complex
organizations that faced many challenges. It is with that expertise, knowledge and independence that I eagerly embrace this opportunity to run for President of U.S. Soccer. In the coming weeks, I will
reach out to leaders and members alike to discuss these issues in more detail. I would be delighted to have the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your priorities before seeking election to
represent you at the Annual General Meeting in February next year.
As a lifelong soccer fan who has volunteered countless hours to our sport and
Federation, I recognize that soccer is a team sport, and to succeed, our Federation must operate as a team. Together, we can deliver the future that U.S. Soccer aspires to reach. I ask for and would
be honored to receive your support.