Sunil Gulati will not be stepping down as U.S. Soccer president and,despite the U.S. Men’s National Team’s failure to make the World Cup, he remains undecided on his future with the U.S. Soccer program.
Speaking on a conference call with reports on Friday, Gulati stated that he doens’t plan to step down from his role as U.S. Soccer president. In addition, Gulati added that he has yet to make a decision on whether or not he will run again. In the weeks prior to the USMNT’s defeat to Trinidad & Tobago, Gulati reached out to people within the U.S. Soccer community about endorsing him for president, but the longtime U.S. Soccer executive says he will now wait a few weeks before deciding if he will pursue reelection.
“I take full responsibility. No, I don’t plan to resign,” Gulati said. “It’s not the right day for me to talk about my personal future plans in terms of the federation’s presidency.”
Gulati says he understands the frustrations of those that do want him out. He understands that missing the World Cup is unacceptable in any circumstances and that he bears some measure of responsibility for that.
However, despite the present and past failures, Gulati says he believes he has a part to play in the future, especially with a World Cup bid for 2022 on the table. Gulati has 60 days until presidency nominations need to be submitted and about 120 days until the board meeting that will determine the next president.
“We have a lot of things on our agenda including a World Cup bid that is due at the end of March and a decision in June,” he said. “I don’t plan to (resign) and it’s not the case that most of the people around the world do that. Most coaches do, but it’s not the case that most presidents do, and I’m not planning to.
“Because of Where the sport is now and the role I played in it and the role I believe I can play going forward if I choose to run,” he added. “Plus we have the World Cup bid. The sport is in a very, very different place than it was 10 years ago or 30 years ago when I first got involved. It’s all of that.”
Gulati says that he, like many in the American soccer community, have read about potential challengers, like Steve Gans and Erik Wynalda. However, he doesn’t know if their nominations are official or if they ever will be.
For now, Gulati is focusing on emerging from the “shock to the system” currently facing the U.S. Soccer program.
“There are things you would do differently,” Gulati said That’s probably true for all of us and it’s certainly true for me. The number of places that one can make substantive changes or decisions in my role are relatively limited, but they’re big decisions. The same is true for the players or the coach. Any time you don’t achieve the results you want, you look back and you would do some things differently.
“I don’t think I want to get into specifics because quite often they’re personnel decisions so I don’t think I’m going to get into any specifics, but I would certainly do some things differently.”