After twelve years as President of the United States Soccer Federation, Sunil Gulati has announced that he will not run for re-election.
“I spent a lot of time thinking about it and talking about it with people in many different positions — many of whom told me I should run,” said Gulati “But in the end, I think the best thing for me personally, and for the federation, is to see someone new in the job.”
During his tenure, Sunil Gulati has been apart of the massive steps taken forward by US Soccer. The growth of Major League Soccer, seeing league attendance grow substantially while attracting big names such as Sebastian Giovinvo and David Villa.
Gulati has also spearheaded the movement of Women’s soccer in the United States as well. The 58 year-old established the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in 2012, a league that has 10 teams across the nation.
Criticism is something Gulati has been immune to, especially as of recent. With the recent denial of the NASL’s Division II status, along with the US Men’s National Team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Gulati has been under heavy fire.
Gulati commented on the manor saying, “But the loss to Trinidad was painful, regrettable and led to a lot of strong emotions. And to be honest, I think at this point, that’s overshadowed a lot of other things that are important. So fair or not, I accept that and think it’s time for a new person.”
Many have declared their running for the election in 2018, those include Steve Gans, Paul Lapointe, Kyle Martino, Michael Winograd and Eric Wynalda. According to Grant Wahl, Sunil may be throwing his support behind Kathy Carter, the president of Soccer United Marketing, a company Gulati is a member of the board of directors.
You won’t be seeing the last of Gulati once he is replaced as the president of US Soccer. In addition to being apart of the FIFA Council, Sunil Gulati is also the chairman of the US, Mexico and Canada bid to host the World Cup in 2026. The US has already bid to host a World Cup under Gulati, but saw their bid lose to Qatar for the 2022 edition of the tournament.
“I’m going to spend a lot of time over the next six months trying to win an election, and that election is to bring the 2026 World Cup here,”