U.S. Soccer: Oguchi Onyewu and Lynn Williams are elected as new Athletes' Council members

Oguchi Onyewu, who played in two World Cups for the USA, and Lynn Williams, who was selected to the U.S. national team that will face the Netherlands in a rematch of the 2019 Women's World Cup on Friday, are among 10 athletes who were elected to serve four-year terms on U.S. Soccer's Athletes' Council.

Athletes' Council members (2021-24):
Matt Freese
Brad Guzan
Smith Hunter
Seth Jahn
Mikey Lopez
Nicholas Mayhugh
Oguchi Onyewu
Brianna Pinto
Lynn Williams
Sean Boyle

The group was elected from among 16 candidates in a vote of U.S. Soccer athletes for 10 spots on the 20-member Athletes Council.

A slate of five candidates who formed "Next Gen United" was also elected to the Athletes' Council: Matt Freese, Smith Hunter, Mikey Lopez, Nicholas Mayhugh and Brianna Pinto.

The other three athletes who were elected are Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Sean Boyle and Seth Jahn, teammates on the U.S. Para 7-a-side national team.

Guzan was the only one of four holdovers who were running for another term and won. Lori Lindsey, the Athletes' Council vice chairperson and a federation board member, Gavin Sibayan and Jonathan Spector lost.

Brian Ching, Stuart Holden, Meghan Klingenberg, John O'Brien, Heather O'Reilly and Aly Wagner did not seek re-election.

Boyle will serve as the soccer representative on the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee Athletes' Advisory Council. Jahn, a wounded veteran of 11 years in the U.S. Army, is former counterintelligence special agent and currently serves as an undercover counter-child sex trafficking operative in Central and South America.

The Athletes' Council has become increasingly influential in U.S. Soccer affairs. Its 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 and the share of the vote of the other three Councils -- Pro, Youth and Adult -- will decrease from about 25 percent to 21 percent each.

U.S. Soccer will have to change its by-laws to accommodate the recent legislation. It is expected to expand the board from 15 voting members to 18 and expand the Athlete representation from three to six.

Athletes' Council members (2019-22):
Chris Ahrens (chairperson and board member)
Yael Averbuch
Carlos Bocanegra (vice chairperson and board member)
Landon Donovan
Kevin Hensley
Ali Krieger
Alex Morgan
Nick Perera
Becky Sauerbrunn
Lindsay Tarpley (alternate)
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