(WFI) Carlos Cordeiro has been adjacent to the presidential chair for years. Now it is his.
The former investment banker at Goldman Sachs became the new president of U.S. Soccer on Feb. 11. He replaces Sunil Gulati after an election in Orlando, Florida that required three rounds of voting to finally crown Cordeiro.
The new president is not exactly new at this: he has been Gulati’s vice president since 2016 and has served various roles with U.S Soccer including treasurer, chair of the budget committee, and director of the U.S. Soccer Foundation amid representing his country on the. CONCACAF Council and FIFA’s Stakeholders Committee.
His mandate is to restore U.S credibility in football around the globe after the country’s national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Americans had never missed the sports biggest showcase since Italy 1990.
His victory represents an overwhelming endorsement for the establishment in a field of mostly reform candidates that included some inexperienced former football players. Those running for the post included Paul Caligiuri, Kathy Carter, Steve Gans, Kyle Martino, Hope Solo, Michael Winograd and Eric Wynalda.
Cordeiro clinched his victory on the third ballot winning 69 percent of the vote. In the first two ballots, the new president received 36 percent and 42 percent, respectively, while in the last round he had to endure a strong challenge by Carter, the president of Major League Soccer’s marketing arm, S.U.M.
Among those with less support, former World Cup star Caligiuri withdrew from the election after receiving only 0.5 percent of the vote on the first ballot while Michael Winograd and Steven Gans followed suit after the second.
Other disappointing performances came from former U.S. Olympic and World Cup goalkeeper Hope Solo. Despite her fame, Solo received less than 1.6 percent of the vote in each round.
This was the first contested U.S. Soccer presidential election since 1998.
“To those of you who didn’t vote for me, I’m going to work to earn your support and trust over the next four years,” Cordeiro said after his win. “I promise I will work for all of you to bring us together as one soccer community.”
The new American soccer boss arrived to the U.S. as a teenager with his widowed Colombian mother. His father was Portuguese.
Cordeiro is 61-years old.
By INSIDER Javier Monne
Your best source of news about the global football business is World Football INSIDER