Steve Gans to consider running against Sunil Gulati for U.S. Soccer president
Boston attorney Steve Gans is considering whether to challenge Sunil Gulati as the president of U.S. Soccer.
Gulati has never been opposed in three elections that have occurred every four years since 2006. He is yet to confirm if he will run for a fourth term in 2018, which would be his last under new term limits he supported.
And Gans told Soccer America that he believes the U.S. men's national "has gone backwards" under Gulati and that he found it odd that no one has ever challenged the economics professor throughout his decade-long time in charge.
"This is democracy," Gans said. "This is America. For an organization this big, a $150 million organization, to never have a challenger, a fourth term without a challenger, is not good from a process perspective. For the good of the game, somebody should run. I think I should perhaps be that somebody."
Gulati is also a member of the powerful FIFA Council and played a visible role in the election of Gianni Infantino as FIFA president last year. Together with Mexico and Canada, he is heading a bid to bring the 2026 World Cup to the U.S.
But in his interview with Soccer America, Gans pointed toward extending men's coach Jurgen Klinsmann's contract before the 2014 World Cup, and the women's team public labor dispute as examples of Gulati's failings.
"You have to wonder why no one has ever opposed Sunil," he said. I don't think it's because he's doing such an excellent job. I get a lot of calls from people who are unhappy, so I am aware of some of the issues."
Gans previously worked for teams in the old NASL and indoor soccer's MISL and is the founder of Professional Soccer Advisors, a group that represents European clubs in the U.S. He also assisted Boston's local organizing committee for the 1994 World Cup.
Before deciding on an official challenge, Gans said he wanted to wait at least two months to listen to different viewpoints on the issues facing U.S. Soccer.
"In the interim period, I want to go on a listening tour," he said. "I think I have some good ideas, but I am going to listen. I want to hear what the feedback is."
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