USSF Denies Allegations They Prioritize USMNT Match Locations Based On Profitability
U.S. Soccer, Soccer United Marketing and SUM President Kathy Carter issued "strongly worded denials of significant allegations" made by candidate Kyle Martino yesterday, according to Grant Wahl of SI.com. Martino said that SUM decided to stage September’s U.S. World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., to "prioritize profit by hosting the game in a location that ... would draw the most Costa Rica fans." USSF in a statement called the allegations "irresponsible" and said, "Any assertion that Soccer United Marketing has ever decided the location of a U.S. national team match is categorically false." Carter, a USSF presidential candidate, said, "The U.S. Soccer community deserves leadership that is honest, open, fact-based and responsible. I am bringing those qualities to the campaign and urge all candidates to do the same." When asked how he acquired the information he alleged, Martino said, "I know from talking with [former USMNT coach] Bruce Arena that he personally lobbied to have that venue changed and was told no. The suggestion that this decision was in part made by SUM is based off several conversations with people close to the decision-makers or included in past decisions." He added, "If what I’ve said is inaccurate as Kathy Carter and U.S. Soccer suggest, I call on them to provide the requisite transparency to debunk this" (SI.com, 1/8).