Wynalda Could Be Possible Favorite For USSF President; Tries To Shake "Volatile" Stigma
U.S. Soccer presidential candidate Eric Wynalda has "surprisingly emerged as one of the favorites," but is "perplexed by his inability to shake his reputation as a volatile personality," according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. TIMES. Wynalda has the "highest profile of the top candidates" yet remains a "pariah in the eyes of the sport’s ever-incestuous establishment." But Wynalda said that if U.S. Soccer requires a calm and measured demeanor, he is "ready to offer that." He "still has strong opinions," but "thinks he has the diplomatic skills" to head the federation. Wynalda has "aligned himself with owners" in NASL, and his platform "includes a push for a promotion-and-relegation system, as well as making domestic leagues compliant with the FIFA calendar" (L.A. TIMES, 1/15). In Columbus, Andrew Erickson noted Wynalda on Sunday in a town hall meeting described an "unhealthy" relationship between Soccer United Marketing, MLS and U.S. Soccer. Wynalda said, “The power should be with the people. The federation should understand its role and the meaning of the word serve.” Wynalda said the USWNT and NWSL have "never been given the respect they deserve" and "no one has ever looked at women’s pro soccer as anything more than a write-off." He also "reiterated that growth of the women’s professional game needs to be a priority in addition to keeping the USWNT at the top of women’s soccer" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 1/15). Wynalda said, "What I've educated myself on is surrounding myself with experts in the non-for-profit faction." He noted U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati "did the job for three terms, and that doesn't mean that's the way the next president should address the position." He added, "My plan is to surround myself with people who are going to be able to help have an understanding of the game" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/13).
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: CBSSPORTS.com's Roger Gonzalez conducted a Q&A with candidate Kathy Carter, noting she is a "legitimate candidate" to win the election. She said her leadership style is about "taking input from a lot of different people." She added there is "no shortage of ideas with all the constituents of U.S. Soccer." Carter said her first order of business as president would be "making sure we've got a strategic plan on the technical side along with the business side." She said the federation needs "far more voices" and "more athlete representation at the table" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/13). Candidate Kyle Martino said, "The biggest problem is that the federation isn't looking at U.S. Soccer as a whole. They had prioritized the top of the soccer pyramid. The biggest problem I see is the disconnect. There are people on the ground growing this game, educating kids and making it fun, and they don't feel that the federation is serving (them)" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/13).