Hope Solo Enters U.S. Soccer Presidential Race; Candidates Begin To Make Their Case
Former USWNT G Hope Solo yesterday "made the surprise announcement" that she is running for U.S. Soccer President, and a spokesperson for Solo noted that she "has the three formal nominations needed by Tuesday’s deadline to become an official candidate," according to Grant Wahl of SI.com. Solo is the "ninth candidate to enter the race -- and the second woman." Solo on Facebook "outlined what she believes are the biggest problems facing U.S. Soccer, including the excessive expenses of youth soccer, unequal gender treatment and what she views is a lack of transparency from the people who run the organization." Solo’s opponents will "no doubt point out her inexperience in running an organization," as well as her past run-ins with law enforcement (SI.com, 12/8). USA TODAY's A.J. Perez notes Solo "made it clear in her Facebook post that equal treatment of men’s and women’s teams at all levels would be a major part of her platform." Solo wrote, “The time for talking is over. ... I know exactly what U.S. Soccer needs to do, I know exactly how to do it, and I possess the fortitude to get it done." Perez notes three former members of the USMNT -- Eric Wynalda, Paul Caligiuri, and Kyle Martino -- are also "among at least eight others that have announced their respective candidacies" (USA TODAY, 12/8).
MAKING HER CASE: Soccer United Marketing President Kathy Carter, who announced her candidacy this week, said, “I want to get into this because this game has given me everything and let's be honest, it's not often that you can give an impact and have an impact on something that's given you everything.” She added the presidency is "about vision and leadership." Carter: "We're at a time of change so I believe that you need to have professional players, you need to have people that have technical expertise." She said, "It really takes somebody who understands the game on all sides, not just on one side.” Carter: "Only one piece of what the Federation does is manage the national teams and ... we have to be in a position where we continue to elevate and create dominant programs" ("ESPN FC," ESPNews, 12/6).
CHANCE FOR CHANGE: In Dallas, Rick Gosselin noted Wynalda believes that soccer in the U.S. "needs to be fixed," and he would "start with the professional ranks." Wynalda said, "If I was president, I'd recommend to (MLS Commissioner) Don Garber to shut it down until July. No one is going to want to watch MLS in March, April and May. Nobody. This is a very unique opportunity." He added, "If we do this right, we would let the World Cup happen, we'd celebrate the World Cup and, as soon as it's over, we'd come back. We'd have an unbelievable opportunity to promote the dawning of a new era. We don't have to check our schedule, we can make our schedule." Wynalda: "We don't need to make the summer months a grind. Start our season at an appropriate time -- at the end of July this year -- finish up Dec. 10, then take a break. ... We can arrange a schedule that will allow us to get to mid-March." Wynalda's proposed schedule "would place the MLS Cup in a warm-weather month, which would be more conducive to crisp soccer than a December staging of the championship" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/8).