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Gulati protege Cordeiro running for USSF president


FIFA presidential contender Gianni Infantino (R) stands with FIFA execitive member Sunil Gulati of the US during the second round of voting in the FIFA presidential election during the extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich on February 26, 2016. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

MIAMI (AP) Carlos Cordeiro is running for U.S. Soccer Federation president after being brought into the governing body by current USSF President Sunil Gulati.

The 61-year-old Cordeiro, a retired Goldman Sachs executive, became an independent director of the USSF board in 2006/2007, served as treasurer starting in 2008 and was elected to a four-year term as vice president in 2016. He has been viewed as a protege and potential successor to Gulati, who has not said whether he will seek a fourth four-year term at the election in February.

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Gulati has been criticized since the U.S. failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup, ending a streak of seven straight appearances.

Retired U.S. forward Eric Wynalda has taken a leave from Fox Sports to run. Boston lawyer Steve Gans and Paul LaPointe, Northeast Conference manager of the United Premier Soccer League, also are running. Retired U.S. forward Landon Donovan is said to be considering a run.

Cordeiro released a letter Wednesday announcing his candidacy.

“We need a comprehensive and fearless review of all major issues: governance, national team structure and leadership, improving soccer’s accessibility to everyone,” he wrote.

He said he would launch “Mission 26/27" to elevate the men’s national team to a higher level by the 2026 World Cup and the women’s national team by the 2027 tournament. The U.S., Mexico and Canada are bidding to host the 2026 tournament, and Morocco also has said it wants to host. Cordeiro wants the 2027 women’s tournament to be held in the U.S.

Cordeiro would establish a technical committee that would report to the USSF chief executive officer and recommend all coach hirings. He said coaches should report to the CEO or a new general manager for soccer position.