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Volume 25 No. 27
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Emergence Of Carter As Successor Could Have Played Role In Gulati Not Seeking Re-Election

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati will not seek re-election next year, but he "didn’t feel comfortable leaving the USSF’s business in the hands" of any of the potential candidates until one he "could back emerged," according to Steven Goff of the WASHINGTON POST. Soccer United Marketing President Kathy Carter yesterday officially announced her candidacy for the role, and while Gulati has "not endorsed her," it is "clear she has his support." Goff notes to "earn a place" on the February ballot, a candidate "must secure three nominations" from USSF membership. Carter "will undoubtedly get them." Being the only female in the field "should help her chances, even though the voting delegation is largely male." Goff notes all 11 USSF presidents "have been men." USSF VP Carlos Cordeiro -- also running for president -- is "very much an insider, which probably won’t sit well with voting members seeking fresh ideas." He is "trying to carve an identity separate from Gulati’s, and the fact that he and Gulati had differences will help his cause." The three former players running -- Eric Wynalda, Paul Caligiuri and Kyle Martino -- have "high profiles but no executive experience." Two attorneys -- Boston-based Steve Gans and N.Y.-based Michael Winograd -- and Massachusetts-based soccer coach Paul Lapointe are also running. However, not all candidates are "expected to receive the necessary nominations." But while his potential successors "battle it out, Gulati will remain engaged" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/6).

AGENT CARTER: SI.com's Grant Wahl wrote Carter is a "credible candidate with a successful track record in soccer business, and it’s not lost on her that she is the only woman running." But sources said that Carter "decided to run only after being actively lobbied by both Gulati" and MLS Commissioner Don Garber. However, Carter said that is "not true" and that she "made the decision 100% on her own." But she added that she "does hope she has the support of Gulati and Garber." Wahl noted Carter has to "walk a fine line: She wants the support of Gulati, who helps bring some voters, but she doesn't want to be tied too closely to a guy who just got out of the race because of negative public opinion about him." At a time when most people "think U.S. Soccer needs to put more attention on the soccer side and less focus on the business side, Carter and Cordeiro are very much business-side types who know they will need to shake people’s idea that they are extensions of Gulati" (SI.com, 12/5).

ON THE CLOCK: In Boston, Joe Halpern noted the deadline for Gans and LaPointe to "submit the minimum of three letters of nomination from soccer delegates is Dec. 12." LaPointe said that he will "decide at that point whether he will actually submit his formal nomination or withdraw and throw his support to another candidate." But he said that he "would not support Gans' candidacy." Gans is a "former professional player who has been involved in soccer nearly his entire life" and "might be considered the frontrunner to succeed Gulati." But he said that it is "difficult to assess his chances" of winning in what has "become a crowded field." Gans said, "It's become somewhat discombobulated with so many candidates. But I'm confident. I remain the only candidate who has a deep soccer background and combines that with a deep business organizational leadership. I'm the only candidate, I believe, who can elevate the game at all levels in this country" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 12/5)