Meet the U.S. Soccer Federation presidency candidates

The eight candidates for president of the U.S. Soccer Federation: Paul Caligiuri, Kathy Carter, Carlos Cordeiro, Steve Gans, Kyle Martino, Hope Solo, Michael Winograd and Eric Wynalda.
(Associated Press)

These eight candidates are running in the first contested election for the presidency of the U.S. Soccer Federation in two decades:

Paul Caligiuri

Age: 53. Job: Soccer coach.

His goal put the U.S. in the 1990 World Cup, ending a 40-year absence from the tournament … Orange County native was a UCLA standout who played 136 games for the Galaxy and 110 times for the national team … His “player-first” platform calls for “a robust and broader development program” and equal pay for women … Has coached at the university and club level and in the NPSL and UPSL … Founded the U.S. Soccer Players Assn.


Kathy Carter

Age: 48. Job: Chief executive of Soccer United Marketing.

Backing from outgoing president Sunil Gulati and MLS commissioner Don Garber has allowed rivals to attack Carter as the “establishment candidate” … Spent more than 20 years on the business side of the sport, helping organize the 1994 World Cup and more recently leading the marketing arm of MLS and U.S. Soccer … Was a high school All-American who played goalkeeper on the same college team as U.S. women’s team coach Jill Ellis … Her “New Vision for Change” calls for a strategic plan on the technical and business side and focuses on youth soccer and prioritizing the women’s game.

Carlos Cordeiro

Age: 61. Job: former Goldman Sachs executive; now USSF vice president.

Cordeiro, who played high school soccer in Miami, is of Colombian, Portuguese and Indian descent and immigrated to the U.S. at 15 … The oldest candidate in the field, he likens the president’s role to that of a CEO running a large corporation, favoring a hands-off approach … Envisions bringing the 2026 World Cup and 2027 Women’s World Cup to the U.S. … Platform calls for a new technical department for the men’s and women’s programs run by general managers.

Steve Gans

Age: 57. Job: Lawyer.

A Boston-based lawyer, Gans played professional indoor soccer … Helped bring World Cup matches to Boston in 1994 … Promises a “top-to-bottom” review of the USSF administration and programming and the youth development academy … Intends to meet with youth state associations in the first two months of his administration … Proposes spending some of the USSF surplus to lessen the negative impact of “pay to play” barriers and to increase diversity and participation.

Kyle Martino

Age: 36. Job: TV analyst.

A former MLS rookie of the year, Martino ended an injury-shortened career with the Galaxy and earned eight international caps … On leave from his job as a studio analyst for NBC … A tireless and convincing campaigner, his slick “Progress Plan” is the most detailed platform of any candidate, calling for a reinvestment and refocus at the grassroots level … An Atlanta native, Martino is also seeking dialogue that would give stakeholders at all levels a chance to be heard.

Hope Solo

Age: 36. Job: Former national team goalkeeper.

The greatest goalkeeper in the history of women’s soccer, Solo earned 202 caps, won 153 games and posted 102 shutouts, capturing a World Cup and two Olympic titles … But she was also suspended repeatedly by U.S. Soccer and last month sued the federation, accusing it of neglecting youth soccer … Solo’s platform calls for transparency, equal pay for women and a focus on increasing diversity … The Washington state native is the youngest candidate in the field.

Michael Winograd

Age: 47. Job: Lawyer.

A corporate attorney in New York City, Winograd played in college and professionally in Israel and has a deep background as a coach and administrator, having built a tier-two club on Staten Island and managed the NCAA College Cup while an assistant at Richmond … Considers youth development the top goal of the new president … Also says the USSF needs greater transparency and must reduce or eliminate pay-to-play barriers to bring more kids into the sport.

Eric Wynalda

Age: 48. Job: Coach, TV analyst.

A U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer, the Fullerton native played in three World Cups and has the fourth-highest goal total (34) in U.S. national team history … Has served as coach and technical director at second- and fourth-tier teams … His platform involves introducing promotion and relegation to professional soccer, conforming to the international winter calendar and overhauling the youth development program … The most charismatic candidate, he has, at times, been painted as an unpredictable populist.

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