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  • Paul Caligiuri authored one of the most important goals in U.S. Soccer history, and at this inflection point in the sport's trajectory in this nation, he's hoping to once again be the catalyst of change.
By Grant Wahl
February 08, 2018

On the new episode of the Planet Fútbol podcast, U.S. Soccer presidential candidate Paul Caligiuri tells us why he thinks he should be elected in this Saturday’s eight-candidate election. Caligiuri, who played in two World Cups and scored the goal that sent the U.S. to World Cup 1990, is one of four former national team players in the race.

Caligiuri is the seventh of the eight candidates to appear on the Planet Fútbol podcast—all except Hope Solo, who was invited to come on the show. If you’re interested in hearing those in-depth discussions with the candidates ahead of Saturday’s vote, they’re in our podcast archive on iTunes and you can also find those links here:

Kathy Carter | Carlos Cordeiro | Steve Gans | Kyle Martino | Michael Winograd | Eric Wynalda

On the podcast, Caligiuri explains one of his ideas that he would try to implement if he becomes federation president. The full episode can be heard below:

“One of my proposals would be through the Olympic Development Program, ODP, that all high school varsity coaches would be trained and provided resources to become ODP scouts. And what that does overnight, imagine, it brings U.S. Soccer into every community in this country. Not some. Every community. It raises our value as a property, an investment. Corporate America would love to have access to that. And when I think about that, sure, we may not use the names of the high schools, but think about the growth that can happen from there.

“Maybe we do align ourselves eventually with the high schools. Because U.S. Soccer can help brand the high schools, and maybe a corporate sponsor like Nike or Adidas will be supplying their uniforms in their high schools because of our relationships and the growth. And that’s how we cultivate and get into our communities, especially these communities where I’ve heard that U.S. Soccer needs to have a culture of soccer. We do. It exists in those communities. And those communities are what we need to really focus on and not only be including them into our system but provide them access to opportunities that exist in U.S. Soccer.”

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