Donovan won't run for US Soccer president, wants role in USSF

Landon Donovan - July 2015

Landon Donovan won’t join the crowded list of candidates running for US Soccer president, but the MLS and US men’s national team icon wants to do his part to further the game in America.

Donovan told SI’s Grant Wahl in an interview published on Thursday that, after some consideration, he’s opted to stay out of the USSF presidential race. Former US internationals Kyle Martino, Eric Wynalda, Paul Caliguiri, and US Soccer VP Carlos Cordeiro are among those running for the position currently held by Sunil Gulati, who hasn’t yet declared if he’ll run for a third term atop the federation.

“I think like most people, your initial reaction is, well, I can help. I can do the job. And I quickly walked back from that to considering the realities, which were 1) I’m not remotely qualified for that job; 2) I would have no idea how to even begin that job; 3) I don’t want to do that job; and 4) there are better ways for me to be involved and impactful,” Donovan told Wahl. “The one thing that has come out of all this is that I realize I’m not doing enough in this whole process to help. And that’s going to change.”

How exactly will that change? Donovan’s not entirely sure of the specifics, but said that he’ll spend the “next three or four months” working with others to put together a plan for how to move the soccer side of the federation forward, starting with player development and working up to the senior national teams. He said he’d like to present that plan to the next president, who he hopes will “want to start implementing that as soon as possible.”

He also said he’d like to have a job with US Soccer after the presidential election in February, ideally in a position that would help drive decisions and policy at the youth levels.

Check out Wahl’s full story for more of Donovan’s ideas on how to improve US Soccer.