Outgoing U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati gave a 17-minute speech at the 2018 US Youth Soccer gala dinner in Philadelphia on Jan. 20.
In the speech, he repeated earlier comments he had made bemoaning the tenor of the
current presidential campaign in which eight candidates are vying to succeed him.
He went through a list of statements he had heard from candidates over the course of the United Soccer
Coaches Convention in Philadelphia. They ranged from, he said, "disappointing and disgusting."
“The facts don’t get changed by calling people names, or saying they’re
not competent, or having trucks outside,” Gulati said. “There’s ways to have elections with a positive tone, and the tone in this election is far from that, and to me that’s
He was particularly incensed at attacks on U.S. Soccer leadership in the form of a truck parked outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center with a video playing over
and over again, accusing former SUM president and presidential candidate Kathy Carter of being his puppet and attacking MLS commissioner Don Garber and U.S. Soccer vice president
Carlos Cordeiro, who is also running for president.
Among the issues Gulati raised was the notion that pay-to-play could be ended by using U.S. Soccer's surplus. He said spending a tenth of
the surplus -- $15 million -- would not begin to put a dent in the billions of dollars spent each year on soccer.
“I did economics as an undergrad," he said, "not math. But that
math does not pencil out, and it doesn’t pencil out for any of you, just do the math -- pretty simple. It’s billions of dollars. So when you hear things like that, challenge it. Think
about it. Ask questions.”