Former U.S. women's national team star
Cindy Parlow Cone (one world championship and two Olympic gold medals) was unanimously elected U.S. Soccer's vice president to fill the remaining one year of former vice president (and current
president) Carlos Cordeiro's term, but she would not commit to seeking re-election in 2020 for a full four-year term.
"I will revisit that," she said on Saturday after U.S. Soccer's National Council Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. "For me, I want to make sure I have a positive impact on our game. That is what I have tried to do since Day 1 in this game, and that is why I ran for this position and hopefully I can continue to have a positive impact in our game here. If I see I am able to do that, and able to continue to do that, then I will run for re-election. If I don't feel like I am able to have an impact I want to have, then I will make my impact in another role."
Cone is the first athlete with international experience to serve in an elected position since the late Werner Fricker, a midfielder for the USA when it attempted to qualify for the 1964 Olympics, was president and she is the first woman to be elected vice president. She has had many years of experience with the federation.
"I've been a part of the Athlete Council in one way, shape or form since 1996," she said, "so I have been doing this for a while. I have served on a lot of different committees at U.S. Soccer. I have served on the board for a few years. I felt it was time to step up, and we needed an athlete in one of the elected positions."
Cone most recently served as the adviser to the Athlete Council, which controls 20 percent of the vote in the federation and helped elect Cordeiro with its unanimous support for him in 2018.
"I felt now was the time," she said, "and it's important to have someone's voice who understands the game from the grassroots all the way up the international level to be in the room when these decisions are being made that affect the athletes."
Cone said her immediate task will be working on women's issues -- the new USWNT general manager hire, a replacement for retiring April Heinrichs as technical director and "what we can do better so we can remain on the top of the world and maintain our dominance." She will also co-chair the Youth Task Force with the federation's outgoing CEO and Secretary General Dan Flynn, taking what she said will be "a deep dive on the youth and seeing what we can do to fix the youth game in our country."
Cordeiro praised Cone, North Carolina FC's Durham-Chapel Hill girls director, for stepping forward.
"Cindy stepping up is a huge commitment for her," he said. "She's a young mom, she coaches three teams. She is not like without other responsibilities. If you look around the world, find me more than five federations that have women in the top one or two positions. I can tell you three: Turks & Caicos, Senegal and Burundi. For a major federation not just to have an athlete but a female athlete is a major event. I don't know if that has been fully recognized out there."