All five members of Next Gen United elected to U.S. Soccer's Athletes' Council

A five-player group of candidates who formed "Next Gen United" have been elected to the U.S. Soccer Athletes' Council.

The group confirmed that all five were elected in a vote of U.S. Soccer athletes for 10 spots on the 20-member Athletes Council:

• Matt Freese. Philadelphia Union goalkeeper played two years at Harvard before signing a Homegrown Player contract and is a member of the current U.S. U-23 men’s national team.
• Smith Hunter. Harvard University freshman is a regular call-up to the current U.S. U-20 women’s team national team.
• Mikey Lopez. Birmingham Legion (USL Championship) midfielder, former MLS player, represented the USA at the 2013 Under-20 World Cup and attended North Carolina.
• Nick Mayhugh. Played for Radford University and the U.S. 7-a-side national team -- he set an American record with 11 goals at the 2019 International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football World Cup -- and is also a track star.
• Brianna Pinto. University of North Carolina junior is considered one of the top pro prospects in the women's college ranks. Spoke on behalf of the USA at the 2018 FIFA Congress, where the USA, Canada and Mexico were awarded hosting rights to the 2026 World Cup.

The complete election results have not been confirmed. (The voting window was Nov. 2-16.) These were the candidates:

Matt Freese
*Brad Guzan
Smith Hunter
Seth Jahn
*Lori Lindsey (board member)
Mikey Lopez
Nicholas Mayhugh
Michael Moore
Oguchi Onyewu
Madison Perez
Brianna Pinto
*Gavin Sibayan
*Jonathan Spector
Megan Wharton
Lynn Williams
*Current Athletes' Council member.

USOPC AAC Candidate:
Sean Boyle

The quintet with an average age of 22 ran on a platform of access, diversity, inclusion, community, support and unity. The council is enormously influential in U.S. Soccer affairs but is currently comprised of 11 men and nine women, one Latino, one Asian and no Blacks.

The Athletes' Council's unanimous support for Carlos Cordeiro was the difference in his 2018 election as U.S. Soccer president in a crowded field of seven candidates.

That was with 20 percent of the voting power. Recent legislation -- the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020 (Senate bill 2330) -- means the share of the Athletes' vote --  as well as their representation on the U.S. Soccer board of directors and federation committees -- will rise from 20 percent to 33.3 percent.
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