U.S. Soccer Presidential Candidate Calls For Independent Group To Manage Election
Boston-based attorney Steve Gans, one of the nine announced candidates for U.S. Soccer president, yesterday sent a formal letter "calling for an independent professional to manage the election," according to Grant Wahl of SI.com. Saying U.S. Soccer’s release of the voting delegates list has been "delayed and incomplete, and citing three midstream rules changes in the election process, the Gans campaign concludes in its letter that U.S. Soccer can’t be trusted to run the election properly." The letter states, “In light of the deficient handling of the election process to date, there is no reason to have faith that U.S. Soccer leadership will manage this process appropriately in the months ahead.” U.S. Soccer's Nominating and Governance committee is "comprised by five U.S. Soccer board members" -- MLS Commissioner Don Garber, outgoing President Sunil Gulati, Athletes Council member Angela Hucles, Youth Council Representative Tim Turney and Independent Dir Donna Shalala. A U.S. Soccer spokesperson said that the federation will be "retaining an independent outside firm to oversee the election in itself in February." But Gans in his own statement said the election process "remains clouded in mystery." In a letter responding to the Gans campaign yesterday, U.S. Soccer Chief Counsel Lydia Wahlke wrote that the delay in Gans receiving a list of voting delegates was "due to Gans, not to U.S. Soccer." Wahlke states that Gans "waited until October 13 to return the signed list agreement." She also "disagrees with the Gans campaign’s characterization of midstream election rules changes" (SI.com, 12/12).
STORY UNTOLD: ESPN.com's Noah Davis wrote it is important "who ends up replacing Gulati, because whoever does will have neither the influence possessed by the outgoing president, nor the mandate and ability to affect change on a large scale." What people "miss about Gulati is that his power did not come from his position as USSF president." Instead, the Univ. of Columbia economics professor "derived his ability to control the game in this country because he spent a lifetime moving up the ladder, developing relationships along the way." He "understood the landscape better than anyone else." While his tenure "ended in failure," it "wasn't a failure overall." The program is "moving in the right direction," and the system is "stable" (ESPN.com, 12/11).