American soccer's roots are in the game European immigrants brought over in the first half of the last century, and that was reflected in the organization of the United States Football Association,
formed in 1913, later named the United States Soccer Football Association and then shortened to the United States Soccer Federation in 1974.
Most of the federation leaders into the latter
stages of the last century were immigrants from Europe. The board that oversees U.S. Soccer has historically been overwhelmingly white and male, reflecting the makeup of Adult and Youth Councils who
oversee the game at the participation level.
Women took on board positions in the federation, beginning in the mid-1980s with Marty Mankamyer
and Mavis Derflinger
and Marypat Bell
and then the introduction of Athlete representatives. But very few directors have been Black or Latino.
The first two presidents of color
were Sunil Gulati
and Carlos Cordeiro
, both born in India. The first female president is Cindy Parlow Cone
, the former national team star who took over on March 12 when
The structure of the board was changed in 2006 when it was reduced in size from 40 directors to 15 voting directors, three of them independent directors with no
affiliation to current soccer leagues or organizations.
The current board consists of 14 voting members -- there is no vice president -- including three Latino men -- Carlos
who is of Mexican descent on his father's side, Puerto Rican-born Richard Moeller
and Argentine Juan Uro
-- and four women -- Parlow Cone, the president, Lori
, Lisa Carnoy
and Patti Hart
. But there is no Black director.
In the last decade, there have been only two Blacks who have served on the board: former U.S.
internationals Danielle Slaton
and Angela Hucles
, who both served short terms as Athlete Council representatives. Of the 20 current members on the Athlete Council, Bocanegra is the lone
Latino, and none is Black.
In 2006, Cordeiro, who was born in India to parents from India and Colombia, was added to the board as its first independent director. Since then, six
independent directors have been appointed -- all women or Latino men. Athletes on U.S. Soccer board (2006-20)
Lori Lindsey Independent Directors on U.S. Soccer board (2006-20)