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SUM president Kathy Carter considering running for U.S. Soccer presidency

Another candidate could join the field for the upcoming U.S. Soccer presidential election.

Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter told ESPN that she is considering running for the presidency of U.S. Soccer. According to ESPN, Carter is in “the final stages” of finalizing her bid with her chances of running at “95 percent.”

According to the report, if Carter does run, the decision could be an indicator that Sunil Gulati would not seek reelection as Carter’s campaign comes at the urging of both Gulati and MLS commissioner Don Garber.

“I am exploring a run for President of the United States Soccer Federation because soccer can and should become the leading sport in America, and I believe I could help make that vision a reality,” Carter said in a statement to ESPN.

“The game of soccer has been a consistent thread through every aspect of my life. I have spent over 40 years as a player, executive and fan of the beautiful game. Going forward, our growth and advancement as a sport requires excellence at every level — from our youth and adult programs to our professional leagues and our national teams.”

Carter’s experience within the game comes from the business side, as she previously served as served as a vice president for Anschutz Entertainment Group, owners of the LA Galaxy. In addition, she served as MLS’ vice president of corporate marketing and was on the organizing committee for the 1994 World Cup.

“Should I decide to run, I will first look to engage the federation’s many stakeholders as part of the process,” she said. “I believe we need new ideas and I look forward to listening to fresh perspectives on how to advance our game. The federation and our sport is primed for greatness and I will enter the race if I believe I can help to deliver results for the Federation’s members, players, and fans.”

The field currently includes former U.S. internationals Paul Caligiuri, Eric Wynalda and Kyle Martino, current USSF vice president Carlos Cordeiro, attorney Steve Gans, businessman Paul Lapointe, and attorney Mike Winograd.


  1. I want to be able to trust Kathy Carter – she has literally been around since Day 1 of MLS and has been a big part of growing this league. She has seen everything that has happened in this league and has the institutional knowledge that none of the other candidates have.
    It’s hard though, considering she is getting the backing of both Sunil & The Don. Given this last year’s worth of failures at the Country and Club levels, that endorsement does not inspire me to think that things will change. Oh yeah, and she’s the head of SUM.
    Has anyone heard anything about her talking points yet? I know little about how she has been approaching things lately.

    • Silver, I hear you and agree, I don’t think she’s said much yet which probably infers status quo IMO.

      I happened to hear Wynalda on the Total Soccer Show Podcast

      and like some of the points he makes. Specifically what I like about Wynalda (so far not 100% backing his candidacy but I like where he’s headed) is that he’s now given us inside info and transparency on two previous USMNT mysteries that happened during his playing ear.

      He accidentally slipped up on his radio show FoxFootballFoneIn in 2008 and told us about the issue with Harkes from the 98 WC roster, before which the public had no clue why Harkes was left off that roster. For 10 years we as fans got no explanation as to why one of our top players at the time was left off the plane.

      The other and he describes his point of view and negotiating for the rest of the players for equal pay across the roster during the 95 Copa America in which he tells that the players had negotiated an agreement in good faith prior to leaving for the tournament only to have contracts shoved in their faces on the plane that were far from what they had previously negotiated and were even told if they don’t sign they’ll never play for the NT again, those were his words in the podcast which is a must listen IMO. Its back in 95 so different people but it goes to the heart of the culture and basically to summarize for him, the money/business guys are in charge not the soccer guys. So soccer first decisions take a back seat to business first decisions and this has been the culture since his days as a player. Admittedly, so of the issues about the 95 Copa where already know but the detail he gives gives us better context and speaks to the cultural problem within USSF.

      i haven’t really heard any of the other candidates say much about the real problems within USSF. Most of what I’ve been hearing is we need better development or we need to listen to the grassroots or other platitudes that sound very neutral so as not to offend other but don’t really speak to real change.

      Wynalda has always been a bit of a firecracker and too often says what first comes to his mind, but maybe that’s what we need right now. I said a few weeks back I think we need a disrupter someone who isn’t afraid to make the big institutional type changes that need to be made within the federation, firstly separating USSF and restoring its control of soccer within the US away from the MLS/SUM and secondly working towards less pay to play monopoly over youth soccer. Wynalda is the only candidate anywhere close to addressing the MLS/SUM issue, admittedly others are speaking to the pay to play issue though.

      Not quite on board with his push towards pro/reg though, I like the idea long term but still remember the old NASL days of teams folding and too much instability. I do like the basic idea he’s trying to say in so many words(he needs to work on focus and message IMO) is that we need to be more bottom up and less top down as a federation from the youth all the way up to the pro levels.

      I think its highly unlikely anyone other than Carter will win this election though. And if all the other candidates are going to be losers anyway, I’dlike one to be very vocal so that at least it would raise more awareness among soccer fans and media of the real institutional problems within the USSF/MLS/SUM relationship so that the next generation that tries to fight the current power structure will not have to relearn the problem first.

  2. all about the money, soccer is doomed…. This sport needs to be different than the NFL, we need to focus on the sport first. We need to be different because seems like folks are tired of the NFL these days.

  3. No, no, no, no. In a few days a bought-and-paid-for insider from the FCC is literally going to hand the Internet over to ComCast and Verizon to parsel out as they see fit, and now here’s another person with vested business interests being promoted as a viable candidate for the USSF like there’s not a conflict of interest so glaring it almost beggars belief people somehow think this is OK?

    You do not put the fox (no gender reference, sit down, SJW’s) in charge of the effin’ henhouse. ‘Cause golly, I’m SURE it will behave.

    But the way things are going right now, basic common sense like that seems to have gone right out the window. I guess I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

  4. Not what the sport needs. The money side is already efficient and well-feathered. I question whether some key hosting decisions were made on money over advancement. Panama in Florida? CR in NY? etc. etc. What needs work right now is not the cash machine but the sports side. The cash side is sitting on millions in cash reserves. The sports side is losing regional competitiveness and has started to falter in youth development as clubs have displaced Bradenton and a centralized system. USSF could make even more money and the NT and its youth pipeline could still struggle and not qualify again next time. The priority should not be elevating the money-people.

    Personally I feel like the MLS-NASL sideshow is not helpful nor do I want it deciding who runs the USSF. I don’t think we have to be so conjoined with MLS but I don’t think helping NASL helps US Soccer that much, either.

  5. Well, well, well. We now know two things Sunil is not running and the SUM/MLS group have their preferred candidate. Such coordination between the two group if Sunil doesn’t run and makes way for the in group to back Kathy really indicates what I and others have been saying all along. The problem here is USSF is not independent and is not in control of all levels of soccer inside the US. Instead, USSF is controlled by SUM/MLS and that’s who they get their marching orders from.

    I don’t get a vote, most likely none of you get a vote either. The ones with a vote will back this candidate based on their desire to continue the current power structure. I think you’re looking at the face of our next USSF president folks. Not what I want, but get ready to deal with it, shades on.

    • I saw something recently that Garber’s vote literally counts as 25% of the vote. Can anyone confirm this?

      I know votes are weighted based on involvement level. I think all the coaches at the lower level combined only count as 1%, etc.

      So if Garber counts as 25% and Gulati counts as 25% (unconfirmed) what is the point of this whole charade – just announce Kathy Carter as the next new SUM Lord and move on.

    • Quozzel, good find. From reading that. My take away is that Youth and Adult soccer clubs(ie pay to play) control about 1/3 each of the votes and MLS controls the other 1/3. No wonder we can’t develop talent and get such convoluted decision making. Whole thing needs to be revamped so that the right soccer minds can make it to the top to guide us. The way this voting process is setup to keep two biggest entrenched problems of our federation, 1) MLS/SUM’s control, and 2) the pay to play youth system, which as you point out in previous posts monopolize the field time in various cities.

      • Meant each have about a 1/4 of the votes, the athlete council has the last 1/4. The Athlete’s council might be the only thing that could save this vote. Wonder who the delegates are for that council.

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