Joint World Cup Bid Among First Items On Cordeiro's To-Do List
New U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro envisions his role as "similar to that of a chairman of a board of directors, much different from the hands-on role" played by his predecessor Sunil Gulati, but Cordeiro will "have lots on his plate to start, beginning with" the joint bid for the '26 FIFA World Cup, according to Paul Kennedy of SOCCER AMERICA. Much of Cordeiro's work as USSF VP over the last decade "has been internationally." He served as an "informal foreign minister for American soccer and holds important committee positions" at FIFA and CONCACAF. He will be "immediately pulled in that direction as the USA, Canada and Mexico work to nail down the hosting rights" to the '26 World Cup. The bid is "due on March 16," and the orderly transition from Gulati to Cordeiro will be "viewed favorably in FIFA circles." Cordeiro is on the bid committee, so "all this work is right up his wheel house, but he'll need to be careful to not exacerbate the perception of some that he's more interested in affairs outside the United States." Cordeiro also has to "address a host of other issues," including hiring men's and women's national team GMs. But one of Cordeiro's first tasks will be to "call his first meeting of the board of directors, which will be short two members." U.S. Soccer on Saturday was also "hit with two new actions in the ongoing legal battle" backed by NASL club N.Y. Cosmos Owner and NASL BOD Chair Rocco Commisso, who "supported three candidates in the election" (SOCCERAMERICA.com, 2/12).
A WINNING CAMPAIGN: SI.com's Grant Wahl wrote one of Cordeiro’s "biggest challenges will be to convince those inside and outside the federation -- including fans -- that even though he was seen as Gulati’s right-hand man for a decade, he will bring about real change now that he is president in a way that Cordeiro did not fully push for (publicly, at least) as vice president." Cordeiro won on Saturday by "convincing enough voting blocs that his promises of reform were real." While other candidates throughout the campaign were "spending more time speaking to the media, Cordeiro kept a lower media profile and focused more on traveling to spend time with the voters." Even though Cordeiro was "viewed as one of two 'establishment' candidates, it’s also worth noting" that Cordeiro defeated Kathy Carter -- the "preferred candidate" of MLS owners and the two most powerful figures in U.S. Soccer -- Gulati and MLS Commissioner Don Garber (SI.com, 2/10).
ESTABLISHMENT PREVAILS? YAHOO SPORTS' Henry Bushnell wrote Cordeiro will "not be" a Gulati clone, as both his "actions and his words speak to that." But his election is "anything but the awakening that many thought" the USMNT's failure to qualify for the World Cup would provoke. It is "not the big-picture course correction that other candidates promised." It is "not a sharp left turn." Rather, it is a "continuation along a seemingly endless path, albeit with the potential for reinvigoration." It is an "extension of the establishment’s reign" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/11). YAHOO SPORTS' Leander Schaerlaeckens wrote Cordeiro is the "ultimate establishment candidate." The electorate "felt very differently about the direction the federation should go than the fans did"(SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/10).
MAKE SOCCER GREAT AGAIN: PRO SOCCER USA's Alicia DelGallo wrote the work "begins immediately for Cordeiro, who is tasked with resurrecting hope and making significant changes that will ensure the United States never again misses the World Cup." Cordeiro last week said that his "first order of business should he win would be 'a coming together' (PROSOCCERUSA.com, 2/10). In DC, Steven Goff wrote Cordeiro will "have to address not only the men’s national team but the needs of state youth and adult associations that felt ignored during Gulati’s reign; gender equity and player development issues; the affordability of youth soccer; and greater inclusion of immigrant communities" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/11).