Sunil Gulati plans to be around for the long term. The U.S. Soccer Federation president, in a conference call today with reporters, explained that he has no plans to resign his position amid the failure of the United States Men’s National Team to qualify for next summer’s World Cup.
"I don't plan to resign...it's not the right day for me to talk about my personal future plans in terms of the fed presidency. It’s not the right time," Gulati stated early during the press conference. While he danced around several questions over whether he would run for re-election as USSF president in Feburary at the Annual General Meeting, he did acknowledge that he had sent a letter to board members asking for their nomination for a 4th four-year term. What is clear is that he intends to see out the United bid for the 2026 World Cup and believes he should be the person in charge when that happens.
Gulati pushed back on reporters who asked why he feels resigning is not what necessary, stating “This is not something that they do in other countries. Maybe coaches resign, but presidents do not...this is not something I’m planning to do.” He further cited the fact that he shouldn’t be judged on Tuesday night’s game but the overall growth of the game in the United States since he was elected president in 2006
There were questions about upcoming friendlies and who would be at the helm after USMNT coach Bruce Arena resigned earlier this morning. Gulati informed the press corps that he expected to name an interim head coach in the next week or two and that the USMNT expected to play one or two friendlies next month. He declined to name any options for coaches moving forward and indicated that while the final decision to hire a head coach was his, he was not the only one on the board who would be able to offer input.
Finally, Stars & Stripes FC asked Gulati about the disappointment among fans and whether he had anything to say to those fans who have been calling for change throughout U.S. Soccer. Gulati pushed back, saying “We’re all upset, from myself to the coach to the players...we’re all upset we didn’t qualify.” However, he didn’t offer any message to fans of the USMNT who will now endure their first World Cup since 1986 without the United States represented.