From AO: The US National Teams are important to us and we are going to make a positive difference.
We aim to inform and engage our AO membership of USSF’s election process and give the candidates a platform to articulate to our members. We believe this is a two step process.
The first step is to focus on change in leadership and leading the conversation of candidates to replace Sunil Gulati since he will no longer seek re-election. We will do this by sharing our concerns and issues with potential candidates, USSF, and the public. Then, we will give all change candidates a platform to listen to AO members, and to provide their plans and ideas.
Second, we will work to shine a light on the USSF process, as well as give a platform for change, with this member engagement. We want to focus on this to elicit change before we take further action. We have extend invites to all candidates to address our membership via questionnaires, live video chats, and provide feedback via comments and straw polls.
You can see all of this in our AO Election Center.
The result below is Carlos Cordeiro’s own words in response to questions from AO. These questions were culled from issues based on a survey we sent to our members in late 2017.
NOTE: Mr. Cordeiro could not find a time to appear before our LIVE candidate forum series.
1—What leadership experience and leadership style makes you qualified to be USSF President?
U.S. Soccer needs to change. In order to bring about that change, it’s important to be clear about what the actual role of the President is and what it isn’t.
The position of President of the Board is not about kicking the ball, coaching a team or serving as CEO. The President is similar to that of a Chairman of the Board of Directors – in the case of USSF, helping to oversee and ensure accountability for a 170-person organization with a $110 million budget, a $150 million surplus that needs to be invested wisely, and growing sponsorships and global partnerships.
Given the responsibilities of the role, I’m the only candidate with the experience, independence, vision and detailed plan to hit the ground running on Day One and deliver the change we need right now. My full plan for change is at Carlos4soccer.com.
I’m the only candidate who has dedicated the past 10 years to our Federation as an unpaid volunteer. I started as the Federation’s first Independent Director—as an outsider tasked with giving my honest and impartial advice. Then I volunteered to take on additional responsibilities to help address the structural and governance challenges we face. As Vice President, I’ve worked for reforms to make our Federation more inclusive, transparent and accountable—but there’s still a lot more to do.
I’m proud to represent U.S. Soccer on the United Bid Committee, the CONCACAF Council and FIFA’s Stakeholders Committee, where my deep relationships with our global partners—built over many years—can help win our bid to co-host the FIFA Men’s World Cup in 2026 with Canada and Mexico.
With more than 30 years of international business expertise, I know how to recruit talent and build teams, establish trust, forge consensus and coalitions, manage multi-billion-dollar projects and grow businesses in new and competitive markets—which is exactly what U.S. Soccer needs right now.
USSF needs a President who is truly independent, beholden to no one, with no conflicts of interest and who will serve all members fairly. I’ll bring a new style of leadership that’s more open, inclusive and transparent. I’ll lead with humility and ensure that our Federation listens to and works with all USSF members—including fans. I’ll work to bring all stakeholders—including our new Fan Council—together around common goals.
2—What changes will you make to youth development in this country? Can you provide a timeline of the changes that you envision?
Strengthening youth soccer must be our highest priority.
Our Youth Soccer landscape is fractured, and we’re not growing the game at the grassroots as fast as we should. Rather than fighting each other for players, we need to work together to bring the millions of unaffiliated youth—including those from underserved communities—into our ranks as registered players and develop them into the best players they can be.
One of the best ways to bring more young people into the game is to make soccer more affordable. As a start, I have proposed that U.S. Soccer immediately fund efforts to grow youth soccer by dedicating 100% of youth membership fees to a fund directed by our youth members to be used for youth member programs. These programs could: provide scholarships and grants for players and coaches to help make soccer more affordable, including in cities and underserved and diverse communities; support local needs, for both recreational and elite players; and identify, train and retain our best players, coaches and referees. I recognize that these funds are only the beginning; we’ll need to work together to increase our resources—and we will.
That’s one of the reasons I’m so determined to bring the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup to the United States—it will be an extraordinary opportunity to transform the game in America. It will generate hundreds of millions of dollars that we can invest in our players and grow the game at all levels. It will spark a surge of new players—boys and girls—reenergizing our grassroots and helping us make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States.
It’s also time that we conduct a thorough review of the Development Academies: what’s working and what’s not. We should be proud of the DA’s successes, such as a higher-level of coaching and giving players an opportunity to compete at a higher level. But we also need to have the courage to correct our shortcomings, including the fact that there are many talented players not playing for a DA who have not received enough attention or resources.
We need to recognize that player development for our most competitive players is not a single-lane road; it should be an integrated system of multiple pathways—including ODP and other regional and national leagues—to the national teams. Going forward, we need to invest significantly more resources in all these pathways to make them more accessible and affordable so that more young people—including youth from diverse and underserved communities—are scouted, identified, welcomed into our programs and have a path to the national teams.
3—In what ways will coaching in the United States change under your leadership?
We need to change how we recruit, select, train and manage coaches.
At the grassroots, we need many more coaches, especially if we want to grow the game. To do that, we should use part of the Federation’s surplus to reduce the cost of training, accrediting and licensing coaches. Specifically, we need to increase subsidies for coaches and coach education programs. We might also consider a system where—in return for USSF covering the cost of their training—coaches give a certain amount of time back as coaches.
At the national level, I have proposed creating a new Technical Department run by General Managers for our Men’s and Women’s programs—similar to athletic directors at universities, reporting to the CEO of U.S. Soccer—responsible for recruiting, selecting and managing all National Team coaches, curriculum and player development at all levels. This way, soccer operations would be managed by soccer experts that we can hold accountable.
4—The current pricing structure for many U.S. Soccer games makes it difficult for the emerging fan, the diehard fan, and families to access National Team games regularly. What will you do to address affordability and access to games?
We need to do everything we can to make sure that fans and families are not priced out of the game. Our sport cannot exist without you.
As a soccer community, one of our successes over the years is that we have brought many more fans into stadiums to cheer on our national teams—men and women. Attendance is up, and fan support—especially from American Outlaws—is indispensable to the game. Passionate fans help create the home field advantage for our national teams; your energy and enthusiasm in the stands help our players succeed on the field. The revenue from ticket sales help sustain our national teams, invest more in player development and grow the game.
In the United States, we have a unique challenge. We’re a large nation with different kinds of stadiums across the country—some large, some small. We’re constantly trying to strike a balance between large stadiums that accommodate more fans at multiple price points and smaller stadiums that have less price flexibility. There’s no single, easy solution. We have to continue to work to strike the right balance, and, if elected president, I will.
5—Describe what you will prioritize when choosing cities/venues to host matches for our national teams.
One of our guiding goals should be making sure that as many fans as possible are given the opportunity to attend and experience a national team game.
This relates to the previous question. In addition to being a large country, the United States—unlike most other countries—does not have one, single national stadium. Instead of fans coming to one national stadium, we have to bring our national teams to fans across the country. In doing so, we need to make sure that games aren’t overly concentrated in just a few cities, depriving fans in other parts of the country an opportunity to see a game live.
As I describe above, we have to constantly balance many factors, but we need to make sure that as many fans as possible are being given the opportunity to attend and experience a game. We should aim to bring our teams to all regions of the country so that as many fans as possible are able to share in this beautiful game. For example, whenever possible, friendly matches should be held at larger stadiums to accommodate the most spectators and bring new fans into the sport.
6—How do you envision the ideal gameday experience for fans attending a U.S. Soccer game?
To me, the ideal gameday experience is where our fans and families come together—across every generation—to support our teams. One of the things that makes soccer different is that, compared to most other sports in America, both parents may have played. Soccer is truly a family affair.
You see this family spirit not only in the stands during games, but in the camaraderie outside the stadium during pre-game tailgate parties. It’s part of what makes American soccer so unique. Families—children, parents, grandparents—all come together, and their love of the game is passed down from generation to generation.
I’ve seen this many times, including at the recent women’s team friendly in San Diego against Denmark. The CEO of the Danish Federation saw families tailgating and celebrating together and said to me, “What a great soccer culture you have in America!” That’s the culture we need to preserve.
I also believe that what makes a soccer gameday experience special is that it brings together people and communities from across America. As soccer becomes an even greater part of our culture, it can be a force that helps unite us as a country, both on and off the field.
Of course, the ideal gameday is also a game when our national teams win!
7—How will your presidency incorporate the views of fans and include them in the governance of U.S. Soccer?
If elected, I’ll make sure that fans have a real and meaningful role at the Federation.
As USSF Vice President, I’ve been a strong supporter of the new Fan Council because I believe that fans must have a voice in the governance of the Federation, including at the National Council. I congratulate and welcome the five Individual Sustaining Members—including supporters who are very active with their local American Outlaws chapter—who were recently elected to the inaugural Council.
If elected, I’ll work closely with the Fan Council. Our budgets, bylaws and policies will be stronger when we include their perspective. In addition, as part of my commitment to Serve the Athlete, Serve the Fans and Serve all Members, I’ll create a new Membership Department at Soccer House to make sure we’re listening to and working with all members—including fans—to grow the game at all levels.
8—Why should fans unite behind your candidacy for U.S. Soccer president?
We all agree that U.S. Soccer needs to change. I’m the only candidate who has the experience, independence, vision and detailed plan to hit the ground running on Day One and actually deliver that change.
As a life-long fan, I strongly believe that if we’re going to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States, we have to grow the game at all levels—from our youth to adults to amateurs to pro leagues to our national teams.
Every level reinforces the other. We can’t have world-class national teams without growing the game at the grassroots, including Youth Soccer, where we begin developing the next generation of players. We can’t grow the game and invest more in our players without increasing our resources. We can’t increase our resources without strong governance. It’s a virtuous cycle, and it needs to start now.
I believe that bringing the 2026 World Cup to the United States will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to truly transform the game in the United States and inspire a new generation of players.
That’s a vision that I hope we can all unite behind.
So far seven of the eight candidates for USSF President have provided their answers to our members’ issues questionnaire and six have appeared before our LIVE member forums. Mr. Codeiro will not be appearing before our LIVE forum and Mr. Paul Caligiuri has not provided a questionnaire or forum date. At this point our candidate windows are now closed and we will shortly be polling our members.
NOTE: The American Outlaws will NOT be making a organizational endorsement, but we will make available the results of our member straw poll and select quotes from our members on why they voted the way they did.
FULL list of LIVE AO Member Forum Recordings and Questionnaires:
- MONDAY, JANUARY 8TH: MICHAEL WINOGRAD
- TUESDAY, JANUARY 9TH: KYLE MARTINO
- MONDAY, JANUARY 15TH: KATHY CARTER
- TUESDAY, JANUARY 16TH: HOPE SOLO
- MONDAY, JANUARY 22ND: STEVE GANS
- TUESDAY, JANUARY 23RD: ERIC WYNALDA
- CARLOS CORDEIRO
- Fan Issues Questionnaire (see above)
- PAUL CALIGIURI – NO RESPONSE TO REQUESTS