New U.S. Soccer Vice President Cindy Parlow Cone: 'I felt it was time to step up'

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."

13 comments about "New U.S. Soccer Vice President Cindy Parlow Cone: 'I felt it was time to step up'".
  1. frank schoon, February 17, 2019 at 10:43 a.m.

    Reading this article further disappoints me about the state of affairs of our soccer leadership. The statement" we needed an athlete in one of the elected positions.",says enough about the lack of soccer expertise, in addition to the president, Cordeiro, has never kicked a ball in his life, maybe ,perhaps in the boardroom during lunch time at Goldman &Sachs; besides anything he says concerns more the financial aspect than anything that has to do about improving the product on the FIELD.
    And as far as Cone goes, I really question her abilities to IMPROVE,anything, as far as, speaking in technical concepts of the game or the product as a whole. I get a sense that her thrust is more about women's issues. Well that's fine and dandy but that' not what I care about but instead the improvement of quality of the game that transcends men and women's soccer. And it is the men's game which,after all is the flag ship our soccer, as is everywhere in the world. If the mens' game improves so will the women and not in reverse. 
    Furthermore I question Cone's ability after reading she was part of the committee that FULLY, I mean, FULLY, stood behind Cordeiro (what a waste) becoming president. And if she weren't backing Cordeiro ,by any chance, why wasn't her position known on this...or was she just playing politics, just to get along....And now she is "ready to step up".....Sorry, but I don't feel that inspired.
    ". 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.”  You know, I don't really care, but what I care about is raising the quality of our game which to me transcends any of the women's issues....Raising the quality of our game can only improve men and women soccer. 

    I got a feeling that these men elected Cone as a PR stunt just to show their sensitivity to women's issues. Meanwhile our leadership is nothing but a dog and pony show.....

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, February 18, 2019 at 1:31 a.m.

    Frank, I disagree with the idea that the men's program has to be the "flagship". You are always talking about player expertise. Well we have a wealth of world champion players, all women. Yes it is true that they haven't played the men's game. The game they do play though puts more emphasis on technical and tactical superiority than physical superiority. Now you would be correct to point out that our WNT needs to improve the quality of their game, but still you should recognize that, if anyone in this country would understand that need, it will be these women.

    They are the solution to our culture problem. I hope that they will lead the way. 

  3. frank schoon replied, February 18, 2019 at 9:45 a.m.

    Bob, The men's game is the flagship of soccer worldwide, not women. The best soccer is played by the men. All tactical and technical innovations come from the men side of soccer, not the women-side, they only follow what the men do. 
    You take the WNT and let them play the worst MLS team and they'll get their clocks cleaned. I remember reading somewhere that the WNT played against 16 years old boys team and got beat.
    As Arnold Muhren , former teammate of Johan Cruyff, stated last year when the Dutch women's team won the European Nation Cup for women, comparing women's soccer to 5th division men's amateur ball in Holland.  He received flak for saying that along with other pro-players who agreed with that observation.... Apparently the disease we have here calling people names who differ from the PC crowd has likewise effected Holland...
    Yes, we  have a wealth of world championship player, but don't translate that in any sense to the men side. That's just like comparing the expertise,let us say,of a dutch men's Amateur team that after successively winning the World Cup for amateur teams  and apply this expertise needed to the Dutch National Men's Team. That's a totally different world, level of play, understanding of the game, along with many other aspects. NEXT POST.

  4. frank schoon replied, February 18, 2019 at 10:02 a.m.

    Bob,Although, on paper , I would agree  you that since the women's game is slower, you would see more technique applied and making the game more interesting and enjoyable. As a matter of fact that's what I thought many, many years ago, but I was wrong. And maybe ,hopefully, it can become that but that would entail a total different way of training, which I don't see coming around the bend anytime soon for the women follow everything the men do. And you know how I feel about the current state of men training and developing procedures.
    I'm not impressed with the women's technical game,for find a lack an of technical innovation, and creativiness in the women's game. You don't find  INDIVIDUALIST, like we do in the men's game.
    I think one of the reasons is that women are more socially and team oriented than men. And men have that attitude of wanting to be"better', this machoness, beating their chest like a gorilla, be the top guy, all which breeds Individuality. And in soccer that inviduality is often express in pyrotechnical display of technical.
    Furthermore, I find them to be very Conservative in their style of play, not innovational, or adventuress.
    As a matter of fact ,I don't find the women having a great  touch on the ball. I would fall out of my chair if I see a woman using the outside of the foot  making a 20meter  pass. Furthermore, in the women's game, Athleticism still play a MAJOR and succesful part of the game.  No, I don't find the a technical and tactical superiority in their game...

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, February 19, 2019 at 8:40 a.m.

    Frank, when considering what I said, think about how women play in mixed competitions (either coed or open). Don't think about how they play in women's competitions. My point is about how the best women players adapt when playing against men. My point is about their brains and how they think about solving problems when faced with someone bigger, stronger and quicker. I know from reading bios, that a lot of the hall of famer generation played or trained with and against males during development years. I have also played a bit against a few of the best women players in the country.

    What we need is soccer brains that value positioning and skills. I know well how the WNT plays, and I expect Ellis and Heinrichs lead the way to where the WNT is today, but I also believe Ellis and Heinrichs both appreciate the need for change and the value of positional play. These are the people that need to change USSF's approach to soccer.

  6. frank schoon replied, February 19, 2019 at 9:59 a.m.

    Bob, I agree that it is better for woman to play with boys/man for they will not only improve to a better level and are able to adapt as you state, brains,the need to solve problems quicker, but only to a certain extend. This is why I stated that in order for women to improve their level of play, we need drastic changes in training/developing procedures for women(as well as men). It is very obvious in order to raise the level of women's soccer is to follow how Sissy(sp)the Brazilian, and April learned to play...and that is playing with guys. Realize playing with guys raises the level of play for women but not vice versa. For guys to raise their game is to play against better men players.
    I also agree that we need soccer brains and value positioning and skills, but I don't see Ellis since I have no faith in her spearheading this thrust, and equally I don't  see anyone on the men's side either . And these goofballs they brought over from Holland aren't capable either.
    The women skills have not improved since the 90s' and the men's skills , likewise haven't improved in the past 50 years. Neither am I impressed with the style of play, positioning of the WNT under Ellis. I would like to see a high level "great coach" from Europe or South America take over the US women's program.

  7. Wallace Wade, February 17, 2019 at 12:10 p.m.

    Frank, I agree with many of your comments. She was “appointed” quid pro quo. This is how the current Federation operates. It’s been this way for far too long. Many years ago, I supported the Federation financially, now, I won’t contribute one dollar until there is sweeping change. 

  8. frank schoon replied, February 17, 2019 at 12:33 p.m.

    Wallace, I don't deal with the political end of soccer but this article is certainly an eye-opener. Sorry, you have spend money on this circus, for that's what it is...Next time send your contribution give it to a more laudible aspiration...animal rescue... Yes, a SWEEPING CHANGE is necessary...

  9. Wallace Wade, February 17, 2019 at 2:07 p.m.

    Frank, I have invested in Lower League Soccer now. I’m only financially supporting Regional Leagues that give developmental opportunities to talented players that have been discounted and locked out by the current establishment. In my eyes it’s the best way to really impact the development of the game in this country. We have a UEFA Pro licensed Coach from Barcelona and a roster representing players from the USA, all over Central America, Spain and Brazil. It’s a joy to watch. 

  10. frank schoon replied, February 17, 2019 at 2:46 p.m.

    Interesting. I haven't heard anything about these Lower Leagues/Regional Leagues who give developmental opportunities...Where is this?

  11. Wallace Wade, February 17, 2019 at 2:54 p.m.

    We will be playing in the GCPL. Gulf Coast Premier League. We are located in South Louisiana. Louisiana Krewe FC. We can be found on Instagram and Twitter as well as our website 

  12. Richard Broad, February 17, 2019 at 6:14 p.m.


    A lot of your comments are valid. However, I have known Cindy Cone and her family since she was Cindy Parlow, player for the Women's National Team and The University of Nortn Carolina. I am not aware of her political ties. I am aware that she is a fine person who deserves a chance to demonstrate her abilities and make a contribution to the administration of soccer in this country

  13. R2 Dad, February 19, 2019 at 6:25 a.m.

    I would have been impressed had this occured in the 90's, but I guess this is the kind of progress we can expect--slow, plodding, conservative--from the mandarins that run the show. At least she's played the game--so many talking heads in positions of authority have not.

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