The USSF elected a new president on Saturday...and everybody is still wondering...
WHAT ARE WE DOING?!
Well, Damn. My prediction turned out to be wrong, but I don’t think I was that far off. The establishment finally got their day of smug relief, reestablishing the power structure of the United States Soccer Federation. I was feeling momentum build behind Martino, Wynalda, and Solo, with the support of Gans/Winograd/Caliguiri. It felt like they were going to unify behind one figure-head giving voters a clear and unified face of change. The “Evolution” was being televised, and Gulati was going to usher in a new era, and *whoosh!* the United States henceforth would play free-flowing and creative soccer with integrity, exceeding joy, and equal pay! But then the speeches were given and the votes were cast.
An admittedly sleep-deprived Kyle Martino (his hair was still outstanding) enthusiastically pleaded with the voters to dig deep and do what was right, “Press button number 5 for beautiful soccer, pro/rel, and CHANGE!” Eric Wynalda expressed gratitude to all of the voters for their time and investment in the game, but he seemed tired of the whole process and in retrospect he may have already known which way the votes would fall.
If you missed Parts I & II leading up to the election, you can get caught up on the s***storm here:
Hope Solo gave the most compelling speech in my opinion. She called out Carlos Cordeiro and Kathy Carter individually for their misguided, immoral, and neglectful management of US Soccer business. Solo referenced her playing career extensively, which to many will appear arrogant, but in the realm of US Soccer there is a small group of people that I think we can agree matter more than anyone else; the players that represent our country on the national team. She wasn’t modest in pointing out that she was the best in the world, but it’s hard to disagree with her. Hope Solo has some broken relationships with past teammates, coaches, and people in power. That is a real bummer for all of us, and probably the reason she didn’t garner many votes in this election. But let’s move on now. I HOPE that the people in powerful positions are listening because Hope Solo has earned her voice in US Soccer. Honestly, I think the stars are aligning for Solo to come out of retirement, win another world cup, and defeat the establishment from the inside. I can’t wait for that movie.
Our new president, Mr. Carlos Cordeiro, led a quiet, uninspiring campaign and still took the win after three rounds of voting on Saturday. Campaigning is certainly not governing, but Cordeiro has a decade working by Sunil Gulati’s side as a board member, and most recently, as VP of US Soccer. During that time he has done very little to improve the game of soccer in this country.
Before US Soccer, Cordeiro had an impressive career in international finance working for Goldman Sachs. There is no doubt in my mind that he is THE man you want to help manage your offshore bank accounts and diversify your portfolio, which is why Gulati likes him so much. But as president of the USSF? Don’t think so, and man oh man, neither does the twitter-verse. Below, we offer a list of the 6 tweets that we think captured this historic moment.
1. Bill Simmons - Sums up Cordeiro’s victory and background.
2. Grant Wahl - How can anybody ever be upset with or question the integrity of Grant Wahl? He is such a solid soccer dork. Always respectful, always probing with well-timed questions. Only 12 of the 20 members on the Athlete’s Council attended the election. And Wahl’s harmless observation was “that’s weird”. The members in this group, including Jonathan Spector and Brad Guzan, held conference calls the day before, and reached a consensus to form a voting bloc in support of Cordeiro (like the Athlete's Council has done historically). But we didn’t know that at the time. Big deal. Ignore the controversy over their voting decision for a moment, and consider instead the thin skin on display throughout this entire election process.
3. Stu Holden - I must admit, I love Stu Holden and Carlos Bocanegra, but it was weird to see them immediately take a dry, corporate approach about their decision. Maybe Cordeiro did offer them solid plans and they made the right decision. It’s just strange that after months of hearing from the players how poorly the USSF leadership is, they would go ahead and elect more of the same. And, poor Stu. A seemingly diplomatic, and non-confrontational tweet got ripped to shreds. Those 200 plus replies are a single stream of pure twitter rage, my god.
4. Gang of Six? - What was up with this conspiracy theory on Thursday? It was looking like all of the candidates minus Cordeiro and Carter were ready to team up like the Avengers. Or maybe Jeff just drafted this word doc because nobody wanted to talk to him that day. I don’t know.
5. Kathy Carter - A picture really is worth a 1,000 emojis.
6. Hugo Perez - Why isn’t this guy our president? Or Earnie Stewart? So much talent in this country and we wasted it on this circus.
Author: Sean Malvey