Kyle Martino says he is entering the race for U.S. Soccer president.
Kyle Martino, who said weeks ago he would not pursue the U.S. Soccer presidency position, reversed course and now says he will run.
Martino will be leaving his role as soccer analyst for NBC Sports to run, which he had initially opted against because the position is not a paid one.
Martino explained the reasons for running in a post on a website, says the decision is about transparency, equality and progress.
"US Soccer is at the lowest point of its modern existence, with failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup merely a symptom of bigger issues. We need a change, not just of direction but of vision and ambition. It’s time to put soccer back at the center of the United States Soccer Federation," Martino said on the website.
Right now is an inflection point in history of soccer in this country. Our next choice has enormous consequences for the future of our game— Kyle Martino (@kylemartino) November 6, 2017
I’m willing to leave my dream job to do what’s right for soccer in USA. The 3 pillars of my platform are: Transparency, Equality, & Progress— Kyle Martino (@kylemartino) November 6, 2017
Accountability is needed. The era of blaming bad-breaks for systemic failures is over. We need a leader to hold us to a higher standard.— Kyle Martino (@kylemartino) November 6, 2017
So I️ state right now that if under my leadership USMNT fail to qualify for 2022 WC I will step down, likewise if we fail to make QF in 2026— Kyle Martino (@kylemartino) November 6, 2017
I️n the coming months I look forward to flying back and forth across this country to hear what you want for our great soccer nation. Onward!— Kyle Martino (@kylemartino) November 6, 2017
Martino secured the backing of former greats David Beckham and Thierry Henry upon his decision to run.
The U.S men's soccer team failed to qualify for the World Cup leading to the resignation of Bruce Arena as the head coach following a shocking upset to Trinidad and Tobago in qualifying.
As players, coaches, and fans, we deserve better than this, and I will stake my presidency on my ability to deliver. Our challenge is to maintain the Womens’ team’s tradition of success while turning around the Men’s team’s recent struggles," Martino said. " If our Men’s National Team fails to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, I will do the right thing and step aside. (I will do the same if we miss the quarterfinals in 2026.) Likewise for the Women, but with a higher standard: the semifinal round in all international tournaments from 2023 on."
The current U.S. Soccer president, Sunil Gulati, has not publicly said if he would again run for another term. He has run unopposed since 2006.
The rest of the field currently includes Boston-based lawyer Steve Gans, New York-based lawyer Michael Winograd, Massachusetts youth soccer official Paul Lapointe, current U.S. Soccer vice president Carlos Cordeiro and former U.S. players Eric Wynalda and Paul Caligiuri.
As of now, Gans and Lapointe are the only two to announce they've secured the necessary nominations to run. The deadline is Dec. 12.