Two years after resigning amid controversy with the U.S. women’s national team, former U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro has announced his candidacy for the same position.
In an introductory letter on his new campaign website, Cordeiro said he’s been hearing from Federation members who have expressed their concerns “about the direction of U.S. Soccer” and asked him to consider running for re-election.
“In speaking with many of you, I’ve heard your desire for a new approach. I’m especially grateful to members who put my name in nomination over the past week,” Cordeiro wrote. “After a great deal of thought and reflection, I have decided to run for U.S. Soccer President.”
Cordeiro will go up against current U.S. Soccer president and former USWNT player Cindy Parlow Cone, who announced last August she will be seeking re-election.
Appointed USSF president in 2018, Cordeiro resigned in March 2020 amid backlash from court filings in the USWNT’s equal pay lawsuit. In one document, the Federation and its lawyers argued that the women’s national team players “do not perform equal work requiring equal skill [and] effort” as the men because “the overall soccer-playing ability required to compete at the senior men’s national team level is materially influenced by the level of certain physical attributes such as speed and strength.”
The response was swift, with sponsors blasting the USSF’s stance and pressuring Cordeiro to resign.
At the time, Cordeiro, 66, said he had not reviewed the court filings but took responsibility for the language. In the letter announcing his candidacy this week, Cordeiro reiterated his stance.
“When those layers of oversight failed, it resulted in the inexcusable and offensive legal filing that caused so much pain, especially for our incredible women’s players,” he wrote. “Had I seen that language, I would have objected and never allowed it to be submitted as written. Given the severity of what happened, words of apology were clearly not enough. As the president of our Federation, I felt it was important to take responsibility.”
The lawsuit was dismissed in May 2020, but the players filed an appeal that will proceed with oral arguments in March. U.S. Soccer is currently negotiating new collective bargaining agreements with both the men’s and women’s national teams, with the USWNT recently extending their deadline through at least March 31.
The submission deadline for nominations was midnight CT on Tuesday. The election will be held in March in Atlanta.