U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro announced on Thursday night that he will step down immediately from his position in the wake of a controversial court filing by the U.S. Soccer Federation in the equal pay lawsuit brought by the U.S. women's national team.
Vice president Cindy Parlow Cone, a former U.S. Women's National Team legend and Soccer Hall of Famer, will replace Cordeiro as president.
Cordeiro shared the news on Twitter:
It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the President of U.S. Soccer.— Carlos Cordeiro (@CACSoccer) March 13, 2020
My one and only mission has always been to do what is best for our Federation.
After discussions with the Board of Directors, I have decided to step down, effective immediately. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/4B7siuIqcL
The language in the court filing generated widespread reaction from the American soccer community, including MLS commissioner and U.S. Soccer board member Don Garber.
Cordeiro called the language in the filing "unacceptable and inexcusable" and revealed that he did not fully review the filing in its entirety before it was submitted.
His complete statement follows below:
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters of U.S. Soccer,
Tonight, I am resigning as President of U.S. Soccer.
It has been an incredible privilege to serve our Federation for the past 13 years as a volunteer. I'm proud of the progress that we have made together over the past two years -- winning our bid to bring the 2026 Men's World Cup to the United States, making federation governance more open and accountable, investing more in our national teams and stepping up our efforts to grow the grassroots. Across our country, soccer continues to grow, and we are making record investments in our players, coaches and referees at all levels.
My one and only mission has always been to do what is best for our Federation, and it has become clear to me that what is best right now is a new direction. The arguments and language contained in this week's legal filing caused great offense and pain, especially to our extraordinary Women's National Team players who deserve better. It was unacceptable and inexcusable. I did not have the opportunity to fully review the filing in its entirety before it was submitted, and I take responsibility for not doing so. Had I done so, I would have objected to language that did not reflect my personal admiration for our women's players or our values as an organization.
After discussions with the Board of Directors, I have decided to step down, effective immediately. In accordance with our bylaws, Cindy Parlow Cone, who has performed so ably as Vice President, will serve as President. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve the Federation and to help grow this game that we all love. I will always treasure the many weeks that I spent with our Women's National Team players during the World Cup in France, and I'm thankful for their friendship. As U.S. Soccer moves ahead with its defense against the lawsuit by the team, I hope that our remarkable women's players are always treated with the dignity, respect and admiration that they truly deserve.
Cordeiro was elected as U.S. Soccer president in February 2018, succeeding Sunil Gulati, who had occupied the post beginning in 2006.
According to U.S. Soccer, Parlow Cone will serve as president until the 2021 U.S. Soccer Annual General Meeting in February 2021 in Atlanta. At that time, there will be an election for U.S. Soccer president for a one-year term to see out Cordeiro’s original tenure. In 2022, the regular election for U.S. Soccer president will be held for the next four-year term.