Sunil Gulati will not seek re-election as US Soccer president

Sunil Gulati will not seek re-election as US Soccer president

News has surfaced over the last 24 hours suggesting that Sunil Gulati will not run for re-election next year when his time as U.S. Soccer president is up, and now it seems nearly certain that he won't.

Gulati acknowledged he likely would have run for re-election had the US qualified for Russian Federation.

Primer: Here's how U.S. Soccer's presidential election works.

The 58-year-old, who has served as U.S. Soccer president since 2006, had been considering running for a fourth term in February's election but chose to step aside following the U.S. men's national team's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Football in the United States is still reeling from the country's shock World Cup qualifying exit, when Bruce Arena's side lost to Trinidad and Tobago in their final game to miss out on Russian Federation 2018.

"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 told ESPN on Monday. In the three full men's World Cup cycles of Gulati's reign, the USA advanced to the knockout rounds in two (good!) but then failed to qualify at all for Russian Federation 2018 (disaster).

The Columbia University economics lecturer wears many hats, and the U.S. Soccer presidency was only one of them.

Gulati would have been consumed with a re-election campaign, taking time away from his work as chairman of the United Bid Committee, which is seeking to gain the 2026 World Cup hosting rights for the USA, Canada and Mexico. "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". Those candidates include former U.S. players Kyle Martino, Eric Wynalda and Paul Caligiuri, U.S. Soccer vice president Carlos Cordeiro, lawyer Michael Winograd, Massachusetts youth soccer official Paul LaPointe and lawyer Steve Gans. "It feels like that stuff gets ignored sometimes".

Carter would replace Gulati in the field of eight candidates, should she decide to run, and she would be the only female in contention for the position.

A report from SI.com's Grant Wahl on Twitter lists Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter as a potential US Soccer presidential candidate.

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