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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Eric Wynalda says Sunil Gulati's 'agenda' is only to stay in power

U.S. soccer president Sunil Gulati is confident that North America's infrastructure will support its World Cup joint bid.
ESPN's Sam Borden chats with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati about the U.S.-led 2026 World Cup bid.

Eric Wynalda has criticized the "agenda" of longtime U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, saying "at least 50" people have encouraged him to run for the post in February's election.

In an interview with The Guardian, the former U.S. forward stopped short of saying he was considering an official candidacy, but he was clear that he feels a change should be made.

"I've had at least 50 calls from people encouraging me to run," Wynalda says. "Not just people on Twitter who want promotion and relegation and want the house of cards to fall. I've heard from people who want to know how we can make soccer better in this country."

Gulati is 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 Wynalda, now an analyst for Fox Sports and the coach of amateur club LA Wolves, claimed Gulti's current goal in the job is merely personal.

"I don't think it is healthy [to have someone in charge for 11 years] unless there is a clear vision or a plan," Wynalda said. "Right now, it is just one guy who not only professes to be the smartest guy in the room and has an answer for every single question you throw at him but he has an agenda and that is why there is a lot of people saying enough is enough. His agenda is to stay in power and that is it."

Eric Wynalda says Sunil Gulati's only agenda is to remain in power.

Gulati 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.

Attorney Steve Gans announced last week that he would run for the office, the first opposition Gulati has faced after three elections since he took charge in 2006.

Wynalda said he was willing to work to affect change in U.S. Soccer, though he did not specify how.

"I've stood back for two decades waiting for things to get better," Wynalda says. "What I've realized is that there is not a whole lot of people who are willing or even wanting to invoke change.

"Out of moral obligation, I think I'm finally at the point where I'm asking, 'What can I do to help?' I don't want to tweet something or write an article or start a fight. I want to roll up my sleeves."

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