On Saturday, November 11, GotSoccer is hosting all of the confirmed candidates for the position of U.S. Soccer President in a two-hour Candidates Forum to be held at the 10th annual GotSoccer/GotPro Winter Convention in Atlantic Beach, Florida. The event will also be live-streamed.
And so, with the day rapidly approaching GotSoccer has invited each of the potential leaders to state his case.
Today we feature Vice President of U.S. Soccer: Carlos Cordeiro
Of all the candidates running to succeed longtime President Sunil Gulati, the best positioned may be U.S. Soccer Vice President Carlos Cordeiro.
Having been involved with U.S. Soccer at a high level for over 10 years, Cordeiro had considered making a run at the top job in four years before moving his timetable forward with an eye on a federation that he feels has “plateaued” after years of steady progress.
Some observers saw Cordeiro’s declaration of his candidacy as signaling a break with Gulati, with whom Cordeiro has been closely linked in the past, but Cordeiro told GotSoccer that he has always been his own man, describing himself as “fiercely independent.”
In fact, Cordeiro told GotSoccer that he is not anybody’s person, adding that he “is offended by the suggestion.”
Asked why he elected to make this run for the top job at this time, Cordeiro pointed to the “outpouring of grief and anger” following the World Cup elimination loss to Trinidad and Tobago, while making sure to point out that there was more to his decision to enter the race than just one loss, just one World Cup cycle.
Given the wide range of issues facing a shellshocked U.S. Soccer community, Cordeiro feels that his resume, combined with his Mission 26/27 plan for the future of U.S. Soccer, separates him from the crowded field of candidates.
“To effectively compete against federations like Spain, Germany, France and others, U.S. Soccer must increase its resources and ensure that all of its members are prospering from youth to professional. The Federation has doubled its budget in the last several years. But it now has to set its sights on increasing those resources by multiples. That type of growth requires a collaborative leader who can bring together various stakeholders toward a common goal, which is Mission 26/27.”
The U.S. Soccer Vice President pronounced himself “focused and excited” about Mission 26/27, which has at its center the ambition of landing the 2026 World Cup in a united bid with Mexico and Canada and following that up by hosting the 2027 Women’s World Cup and fielding competitive teams at both events.
With only Morocco to compete against the United North American bid for 2026 looks like a solid bet, although with FIFA involved it would be unwise to rule out another shock along the lines of Qatar 2022.
Should Gulati decide against another run or if the incumbent is to be defeated, Cordeiro can claim to be in the best position to continue U.S. efforts to land the World Cup, given his current role on the United Bid Committee.
That position is part of a resume that Cordeiro believes makes him the best qualified of all the candidates. From his pre-soccer days as a partner at Goldman Sachs, to his position as the first Independent Director at U.S. Soccer, to a place on the Board of the Directors at U.S. Soccer since to 2006, and his role as Treasurer, right up to his elevation to Vice President of the Federation in 2016 and roles at CONCACAF and FIFA, Cordeiro believes he has the credentials to lead U.S. Soccer going forward.
Having spent much of the past decade in the trenches it should be no surprise that Cordeiro has some thoughts on the position of the President in the U.S. Soccer hierarchy.
The VP agreed that the lines have blurred between the roles of President of U.S. Soccer and that of the CEO, a position held by Dan Flynn. Cordeiro makes clear his position on the two roles in his Mission 26/27 plan, quoted below.
“When I was elected Vice President, I ran with a robust mandate from the membership for needed governance reform within the Federation. As President, I will continue to implement governance reform to ensure we pursue a more transparent, collaborative path of leadership. For example, the principal role of the President, and by extension the Board, include overseeing strategy that is implemented by the CEO and facilitating discussion to ensure all actions taken by the Board are fully vetted. The CEO is responsible for the day to day management of the Federation.”
To find out more about Cordeiro’s platform and Mission 26/27 go to twitter at @CACSoccer
Qualifications: Former Partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs.
Member of U.S. Soccer Board of Directors since 2006.
1st Independent Director of U.S. Soccer.
Vice President of U.S. Soccer