The meeting was attended by six candidates and/or operatives from their campaigns: Paul Caligiuri, Steve Gans, Kyle Martino, Hope Solo, Michael Winograd and Eric Wynalda.
The initial draft stated that "the establishment is backing two candidates" -- Kathy Carter and Carlos Cordeiro -- and suggested "the establishment would be comfortable with either."
The "change" parties had an agreement on the language of the statement, but Wynalda soon pulled out, according to one person present at the meeting, because he wanted language inserted into the agreement that the six agreed to back the change candidate with the highest vote total after the first ballot.
Later in evening, all six were back in agreement, insisting on only minor amendments to the wording of the statement.
Correct. Wynalda camp had reservations about it. Tensions rose in one suite. I thought I was about to witness a fistfight. (Not involving Eric. The surrogates.) https://t.co/UMRydloZeA— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) February 9, 2018
The fear of the six candidates is that Carter and Cordeiro will have enough combined support to agree on a single candidate and shut the race down after the first ballot.
The goal of the six opposition candidates is to cut the combined support of Carter and Cordeiro down to less than 50 percent on the first ballot, giving one of the six remaining candidates a chance to pick up steam on the later rounds. A "change" candidate might still have a shot if the combined support of Carter and Cordeiro is at 60 percent. Anything higher than that likely would block the six after the first ballot.
One of the challenges is that there is no guarantee that the Athlete Council will give any of its support
-- 20 percent of the overall vote -- to anyone but Carter or Cordeiro.
The strategy of the opposition six assumes that Carter's support is lower than believed -- she is the only candidate given a shot at winning on the first ballot -- and Cordeiro is vulnerable to having his support or leaners picked off. One person at the meeting said the six campaign teams would not agree to say what support they had but they were often finding that where the choice was down to their candidate and another one that other candidate was Cordeiro.