Without actual sports going on, it makes sense that we’re focusing a lot these days on the big changes at the U.S. Soccer Federation, with Cindy Parlow Cone taking over as president and Will Wilson becoming the new CEO. U.S. Soccer needs a culture change, and Parlow Cone and Wilson were promising with what they said on Tuesday in their first public teleconference together since taking over.
But I want to give Parlow Cone one bit of advice here. Soon we’ll hear the results of an independent review that’s examining how the U.S. Soccer board allowed an offensive legal strategy against the U.S. women’s players to go public. Even though Parlow Cone was on the board’s special litigation committee, she says she didn’t see the most incendiary part of that strategy before it went public. But it’s also true that we got a very clear indication of where that legal strategy was going in a previous filing on February 20 in which players like Carli Lloyd were asked if the U.S. women could be competitive against the U.S. men.
Parlow Cone needs to tell us why she didn’t say anything publicly after that information came out and was read by all of us. She needs to say why she waited to go public only until after federation sponsors criticized that legal strategy. Parlow Cone has a real chance to lead the remaking of U.S. Soccer and the culture of the board itself. But first she needs to be more up-front about what already has happened.