U.S. Soccer's board, historically almost completely white and overwhelmingly male

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 later Marge Madriago 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 Cordeiro resigned.

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 Bocanegra, 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 Lindsey, 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)
Paul Caligiuri
Peter Vermes
Linda Hamilton
Jon McCullough
Amanda Cromwell
Jeff Agoos
Danielle Fotopoulos
Danielle Slaton
Chris Ahrens
Cindy Cone
Carlos Bocanegra
Angela Hucles
Lori Lindsey

Independent Directors on U.S. Soccer board (2006-20)
Carlos Cordeiro
Fabian Nunez
Donna Shalala
Lisa Carnoy
Val Ackerman
Patti Hart
Juan Uro
3 comments about "U.S. Soccer's board, historically almost completely white and overwhelmingly male".
  1. R2 Dad, June 12, 2020 at 3:25 p.m.

    Can't say this is a huge surprise, since women weren't formally playing soccer until 40 years ago. Has progress been made getting USSF more diverse in the board room? The article shows that it has. But I'm more interested in providing opportunity at the grass-roots level to underserved kids and families than insisting we choose some Ivy League person of skin color X and gender U because it relieves my old liberal straight white guilt.

  2. Santiago 1314, June 12, 2020 at 10:06 p.m.

    And your Point in writing the Article was What.???

  3. Paul Cox, June 15, 2020 at 8:10 a.m.

    Never any fan representative. Considering how much of the revenue actually comes from the fans of USSF, there should be at least 2 slots on a 15 member board from the fan base.

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