KENYA BROWN - Friday, March 13, 2020
Carlos Cordeiro has stepped down as U.S. Soccer president following the revelation of controversial language used in a court filing for an ongoing legal dispute with the women's national team.
The 64-year-old announced the news in a tweet on Thursday, saying that his resignation was effective immediately.
Cindy Parlow Cone, who has been serving as the federation's vice president, will now take over the leadership reins until the U.S. Soccer Annual General Meeting scheduled for February 2021. The next election for U.S. Soccer president will come in 2022.
"It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the President of U.S. Soccer. My one and only mission has always been to do what is best for our Federation. After discussions with the Board of Directors, I have decided to step down, effective immediately," Cordeiro said in statement he posted on Twitter.
Cordeiro was elected as U.S. Soccer president in February 2018, taking over for Sunil Gulati. Among his promises during his campaign, he said he would look to resolve the equal pay dispute. However, the lawsuit brought forth by the 28 players, along with other legal matters such as with the North American Soccer League and Relevent Sports, put him and the federation under immense pressure.
However, the equal pay battle would prove to be his downfall as documents filed by U.S. Soccer's attorneys on Monday stated that members of the women's team were "less skilled" compared to the men because "it is undisputed that the job of [a Men's National Team] player requires materially more strength and speed than the job of [a Women's National Team] player."
Cordeiro and other officials failure to review the documents before they were filed, led to his attempts at damage control.
His attempt at an apology on Wednesday fell on deaf ears as sponsors began to chime in. That led to other officials within U.S. Soccer, Major League Soccer, and former players raising their voices in criticism.
With his back against the wall, Cordeiro had no other choice but to step down for his post.
Despite securing hosting rights for the 2026 FIFA World Cup along with Canada and Mexico as well as overseeing the expansion of staff, Cordeiro's legacy will forever be tainted by this misstep.