A new figure has entered the increasingly crowded race for president of the US Soccer Federation, as veteran soccer industry executive Kathy Carter announced her candidacy on Tuesday, one day after incumbent Sunil Gulati revealed his decision not to seek re-election.
Currently the president of Soccer United Marketing, MLS’s marketing arm, Carter has held multiple roles with MLS and SUM since the league’s inception in 1996, when she served as Vice President of Corporate Marketing. She told The New York Times that she has taken a leave of absence from her position at SUM and would resign if elected.
Carter is the eighth person to officially enter the race, joining Paul Caligiuri, Carlos Cordeiro, Steve Gans, Paul Lapointe, Kyle Martino, Michael Winograd and Eric Wynalda. If elected, she would be the first woman to serve as the federation’s president in its century-long history.
A high-school All-American and NCAA Division I college player at William & Mary during her own playing career, Carter says her involvement with soccer dates back to age 7. She worked on the organizing committee for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States and later went on to serve as the US representative on FIFA’s Committee for Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Laying out her platform under the headings of "vision," "change" and "leadership," Carter pledged to develop the game at all levels, improve access and resources at the grassroots level and improve the federation’s governance.
“The most crucial times are when the most capable leaders need to step up. The United States Soccer Federation is at one of those moments right now,” wrote Carter in a statement on her campaign’s website.
“We need new leadership that understands both the business operations and the game. Our growth and advancement as a sport require excellence at every level – from our youth and adult programs to our professional leagues to our national teams.”
US Soccer will hold its presidential election at its annual general meeting in Orlando in February.
Candidates for US Soccer President:
Alphabetical order as of Dec. 5, 2017