President Donovan? United States Men’s National Team and Los Angeles Galaxy legend Landon Donovan is considering running for United States Soccer Federation president according to an SI.com report. The 35 year old has supposedly been asked to run by “a number of respected figures in American soccer”.
Donovan had an incredible career earning 157 caps for the U.S., scoring 57 goals, and serving as captain 19 times. He is tied with Clint Dempsey as the USMNT’s all-time leading goal scorer and is the all-time assist leader with 58.
In addition to his exploits with the national team, Donovan won 6 MLS Cups and notched 145 goals and 136 assists in 340 MLS regular season appearances. He retired from the L.A. Galaxy in 2014, before re-joining the team toward the end of the 2016 season.
In his post-playing career Donovan has worked for Fox Sports, acquired a stake in Premier League side Swansea City, and joined a group trying to bring an MLS expansion team to San Diego, California.
Although Sunil Gulati has yet to announce whether he is seeking re-election, he is widely expected to run for what would be his fourth and final term (due to U.S. Soccer term limits).
The only people to formally announce their campaigns at this time are former indoor soccer executive Paul Lapointe and Boston attorney Steve Gans. SI.com reported that Gans has received the three letters of nomination, from USSF voting members, necessary to officially enter the race.
Gans believes that all aspects of American soccer need to be focused on, not just the National team programs.
“If you look at the four main voting blocks, there’s youth, there’s adult amateur, there’s the athletes council, and there’s pro, and they all matter,” Gans said. “The feedback I get is that the current president just focuses on the development academy, most of his time is on the national teams, and what I’m saying is we’re going to make the national teams better, and yet still give proper attention and respect to every segment of soccer in this country.”
- Steve Gans; Boston Herald
With Gans having secured the necessary letters to enter the race, it will be the first time since 1998 that Gulati has faced a challenger.
The Guardian claims that former USMNT forward and current Fox Sports personality Eric Wynalda is exploring a bid, while former USMNT midfielder Kyle Martino was interviewed by Bleacher Report about his decision to not run.
In a call with reporters last week, while Gulati wouldn’t confirm that he was again running for USSF President, he did mention that he had reached out for the necessary endorsements needed to run for the office.
Candidates have until December 12th to submit paperwork, indicating their intentions to run, to USSF. The presidential elections will take place on February 10th at USSF’s general meeting in Orlando, Florida.