The changes at U.S. Soccer won't include a new CEO, while a couple of more potential candidates have bowed out of the running for federation president.
Despite all the talk of the U.S. Soccer presidential campaign, you could argue the most important executive in U.S. Soccer has been another figure, Dan Flynn, the CEO and general secretary since 2000.
Flynn has been responsible for taking U.S. Soccer from a deficit to its current surplus in excess of $130 million. Multiple sources say Flynn was planning to leave his position at U.S. Soccer next year, not least because he’s 62 and had a heart transplant not long ago. But those plans have changed with the U.S. men’s failure to qualify for the World Cup. If a new president is elected in February, Flynn wants to provide some stability on the business side during what is now an unstable time.
Flynn is appointed by the U.S. Soccer board and has a salary in the high six-figures.
Elsewhere around U.S. Soccer:
The nominations to become an official candidate for the U.S. Soccer presidency are due Dec. 12, and there remains hope among many that new candidates with tremendous credentials will emerge before then. We recently detailed which potentially good candidates had confirmed they are or are not interested in running for the unpaid position and can now add two more to that list of the latter.
Ivan Gazidis, the chief executive of Arsenal who spent 14 years working at MLS headquarters, confirmed that he loves his Arsenal job and won’t be running in the U.S. Soccer election. Meanwhile, Oliver Luck, a current NCAA executive and former Houston Dynamo president, says he’s happy in his current job and won’t be running for U.S. Soccer president.
Currently, Steve Gans and Paul Lapointe have declared their intentions to run and have the required three nominations to do so. Former U.S. men's great and current Fox Sports analyst Eric Wynalda has also stated he will be running, as has New York attorney Michael Winograd. Incumbent Sunil Gulati, who has run unopposed since taking the role in 2006, has yet to officially announce if he is running for a fourth term.
Last week The Guardian did a story on Alessandro Cupini, a 10-year-old sensation from the Kansas City area with over 40,000 Instagram followers who was said to be moving to Italy and signing with the academy of AS Roma after attending a camp there last summer. But there’s a catch. A source at Roma said the club has actually not invited Alessandro to join its academy.
The problem is that while Alessandro is trying to secure an Italian passport due to his family’s heritage, he does not have one yet. And Roma has no desire to run afoul of FIFA, which has cracked down on enforcing its rule that prevents kids under 18 from transferring between countries.
Alessandro’s father, Eddie, says the family is still planning to move to Italy next summer, but he knows they have to get Alessandro’s passport situation in order to join a pro team’s academy there.