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What the USSF presidential candidates are saying: Athlete’s Council survey

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We know what they’d do, but we also want to know how.

The U.S. Soccer Athlete Council conducted a survey of all eight US Soccer presidential candidates and posted the results for everyone to read. They asked a lot of key questions on a variety of topics, so we’ve combed through their answers to find any concrete propositions for how they would implement their plans to help give you a better idea of each candidate.

Keep in mind that all the candidates certainly listed many goals for USSF, but this list is meant to pull out the how of those goals and not just the end result itself. So a candidate may say “we should be more transparent,” but may not have mentioned exactly how they would do that. Also keep in mind many of the candidates cite their personal websites where they go into further detail about their positions, and so this survey is not necessarily a comprehensive picture of their opinion on a topic.

Paul Caligiuri

  • broader TV coverage, more sponsorships, equitable revenue-sharing for the women’s national team
  • equal pay between WNT/MNT
  • host 2026 Men’s World Cup, create bid committee for 2027 Women’s World Cup
  • increased awareness of need for financial support of players who are pregnant or who have adopted children
  • launch futsal league for women and lobby FIFA to start women’s futsal World Cup
  • place US Development Academy under Olympic Development Program with exemption for MLS/NWSL academies, include high school as avenue
  • guarantee financial support from US Soccer to WPSL and UWS as well as NWSL

Kathy Carter

  • host 2026 Men’s World Cup and 2027 Women’s World Cup
  • include outside experts in governance committee to ensure transparency
  • Board of directors should meet regularly with USSF councils outside of Annual General Meeting and discussions made available to the public
  • review salaries and recommend adjustments for equitable pay for employees to eliminate gender/race-based disparities, including equal pay between WNT/MNT
  • hire Chief Diversity Officer who reports directly to CEO
  • ask FIFA to increase size and scale of prize money/bonuses for women
  • establish “Key Performance Indicators” to measure actual effectiveness of USSF investments
  • establish a Youth Soccer Commission to help lead development pathway, provide guidance to regional, state, and local organizations
  • look into establishing USSF satellite offices in other regions instead of centrally managing from Chicago
  • full time WNT technical staff under the general manager
  • increase funding for youth scholarship programs and grants

Carlos Cordeiro

  • stronger corporate partnerships to increase the budget
  • invest in a new year-round National Training Center
  • create Technical Department run by general managers who report to CEO of USF to select NT coaches, oversee player development, scout players
  • host 2026 Men’s World Cup and 2027 Women’s World Cup
  • clarify role of USSF president
  • create technical committee chaired by an Athlete Director to oversee soccer operations and create commercial committee chaired by independent director to oversee marketing, TV broadcast rights, etc.
  • add more athletes to Athlete Council, add athletes to more committees and task forces across US Soccer
  • create Membership Department which includes dedicated staff liaisons to youth and adult soccer
  • appoint paid, full time Director of Diversity & Inclusion
  • include three athlete representatives to the Board of Directors during MNT/WNT collective bargaining agreement negotiations and put CBA negotiations for both teams on same cycle
  • equal pay, resources, coaching, training facilities, and travel for WNT/MNT
  • more scholarships and grants for youth soccer, increase subsidies for coach education programs, help local organizations fundraise
  • more coaching and support staff for beach soccer, futsal, and Paralympic NT, integrate these groups into Technical Department
  • grow number of teams in NWSL, recruit league commissioner

Steve Gans

  • 2 year timetable for improvement from youth national teams, clearly define YNT goals/objectives, increase number of youth scouts
  • separate duties of NT coach and technical director
  • “utilize Latino opportunities in coaching/scouting” and keep young prospects with dual citizenship in the US
  • where possible, use former NT/pro players in technical, coaching, and administrative roles
  • clarify US Soccer president role
  • distribute “appropriate amount” of financial surplus to provide scholarships for youth players, increase financial support of NWSL, develop fields
  • USWNT will not play on artificial turf more than the MNT and both teams automatically receive equalizing escalator if the other team receives increase in per diems or other benefits, pay parity between WNT/MNT
  • in USSF arrangements with for-profits like SUM, interested directors on either board must recuse themselves and USSF will survey other vendors who could also provide services
  • create unified competitive youth schedule, decrease travel for league competitions, reverse birth year rule at younger ages, provide reasonable pricing for adult leagues
  • increase coaching education, referee programs, and club board positions for women

Kyle Martino

  • hire a technical advisor and create a Captains Council technical committee, review contracts and coach hiring process
  • hire independent firm to audit USSF executive structure, compare practices to other nonprofits and federations, analyze spending and sponsorship deals
  • hire Grassroots Director and Chief Diversity Officer
  • create Domestic Resolution Committee with full-time staff that oversees disputes, election reform, etc.
  • constituents and affiliates no longer exempt from USSF conflict of interest policy
  • income and expenses posted online, all contracts between USSF and third party vendors over $100k posted online, USSF president, senior executives, board members post statement of economic interest and tax returns online, USSF employees making more than $75k in salary and benefits post packages online, senior staff and board members disclose gifts in excess of $50
  • merit-based or randomized process for tickets for MNT/WNT games, disclosure of all ticket sales, revenue, and pricing policies
  • at least bi-monthly public press conference from USSF president, MNT/WNT coaches, and technical directors
  • build dual sport courts in inner cities
  • create best practices and collaboration agreement between USYSA, AYSO, SAY, and UCS including antitrust restrictions and market entry requirements for new youth entities; technical director attends quarterly meetings between these organizations; president, CEO, and TD must attend at least one meeting a year together
  • pay Paralympians salaries, create seeing-impaired NT
  • increase salary of WNT coaching staff, consider one players union for all NTs, equal WNT/MNT compensation

Hope Solo

  • annual performance reviews for USSF president, subject to termination if performance is subpar
  • regional state association town halls where general members and constitutions can talk to USSF executives and members of the Board of Directors
  • budget sessions open to USSF members
  • Board of Directors Executive Sessions limited only to personnel matters or issues which legally require privacy
  • create USSF Soccer Citizen Oversight Commission to monitor Board of Directors and limit power of president
  • comprehensive review and rewrite in plain English of USSF bylaws and policies
  • equal compensation, lifetsyle benefits, group licensing, corporate sponsorship, share in SUM revenues for MNT/WNT
  • create Executive Women’s Council
  • hire independent ethics committee
  • consider using surplus to provide seed financing of “USSF Fund” for diverse youth clubs to pay for local youth participation
  • Beach Soccer, Futsal, and Paralympic NTs will no longer pay out of pocket to play; create national feeder system for Paralympics

Michael Winograd

  • solidarity payments for youth clubs
  • reduce costs for coaching education and youth soccer using surplus and financing from pro leagues and private businesses
  • build at least one US Soccer State Training Center in each state with a full time US Soccer State Director to scout, train players, assist in coach development, collaborate with state association
  • basic minimum standards for youth soccer in all states, clearly define player development paths that run primarily through State Training Center
  • equal compensation, resources, travel, technology, training facilities for WNT and MNT
  • increase post-playing career opportunities for women within USSF in media, front office, and management
  • increase promotion of beach soccer, futsal, and Paralympic NT
  • create tier 2 professional women’s league

Eric Wynalda

  • require all USSF service and contract procurement processes over a certain amount subject to mandatory competitive bid process
  • WNT and MNT CBAs negotiated at the same time, WNT/MNT equal compensation
  • independent review of USSF/MLS/SUM relationship
  • increase promotion of beach soccer, futsal, and Paralympic NT

We encourage you to go read through the full text of each candidate’s responses. Several of them link to further proposals on their personal webpages and it’s also good to get a feel for their general policy directives, plus their understandings of things like the USSF/SUM relationship, the differing pay structures for the WNT and MNT, and the reasons for keeping the presidency an unapid position or implementing a salary.