Sunil Gulati announced through an interview with ESPN's Sam Borden that he will not run for another term in the upcoming US Soccer Federation presidential election. Gulati was eligible for one more four-year term under the US Soccer Federation's term limits. He became US Soccer president in 2006 and was twice re-elected unopposed. He remains a FIFA vice-president and chairperson of the North America joint bid for the 2026 World Cup. There are currently seven declared candidates for the US Soccer presidency.
"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," Gulati said. "But in the end, I think the best thing for me personally, and for the federation, is to see someone new in the job."
Following the failure of the USMNT to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the pressure increased for change at US Soccer. Several candidates had already announced prior to the October World Cup qualifiers, with Gulati considered the strongest should he choose to run. That choice now opens up the race.
"I've met all seven who have declared their candidacies, and there are lots of different thoughts among them about what's important," Gulati said. "I think several of them would be in for a pretty big shock about what the job is - it's not just about national teams. It's about 4 million registered players, referees, medical safety, grassroots stuff. It feels like that stuff gets ignored sometimes."
A report from SI.com's Grant Wahl on Twitter lists Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter as a potential US Soccer presidential candidate. "I am exploring a run for President of the United States Soccer Federation because soccer can and should become the leading sport in America, and I believe I could help make that vision a reality," Carter released in a statement.