Sunil Gulati will not seek 4th term as US Soccer president

Sunil Gulati

Sunil Gulati

Following the failure of the USMNT to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the pressure increased for change at US Soccer.

Sunil Gulati will not seek re-election as US Soccer president, he told ESPN on Monday.

So far seven candidates have confirmed their plans to run for the USSF presidency - former United States national team players Kyle Martino, Eric Wynalda and Paul Caligiuri, Boston attorney Steve Gans, soccer administrator Paul Lapointe, Mike Winograd and USSF vice president Carlos Cordeiro. Whoever does fill Gulati's position will nearly surely have plenty of interaction with his or her predecessor, though: Gulati still has a seat on the powerful FIFA Council and is the chairman of the joint U.S./Canada/Mexico bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

As president, Gulati was responsible for a significant increase in the global profile of American soccer and for the swelling of U.S. Soccer's bank accounts; the federation now sits on reserves of about $100 million.

"The loss to Trinidad was painful, regrettable and led to a lot of strong emotions. So fair or not, I accept that and think it's time for a new person". Gulati certainly deserved his share of the blame for that disaster, not least because of his dubious decisions to extend Jurgen Klinsmann's contract months before Brazil 2014 and his far-too-late removal of Klinsmann in November 2016. After the US lost to Trinidad & Tobago, 2-1, and failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Gulati refused to resign (as men's head coach Bruce Arena had done) but he didn't confirm he'd run either.

"It was an interesting set of discussions with Carlos", Gulati said in a quiet tone.

If Carter enters the race, that would be eight declared candidates ahead of the deadline for nominations on December 12. Kathy Carter, president of MLS's marketing subsidiary Soccer United Marketing, is considering a bid. He has made his decision, he said, and is just starting to get used to the reality that his tenure is coming to an end.

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