Solo approved as U.S. Soccer confirms presidential candidates

Erich Schlegel
The former U.S. national team goalkeeper is among eight candidates to have met the requirements to run in February's election

Former U.S. national team goalkeeper Hope Solo is among the eight candidates confirmed by U.S. Soccer on Wednesday to be eligible for February's presidential election.

Solo is joined on the ballot by fellow former players Paul Caligiuri, Kyle Martino and Eric Wynalda; lawyers Steve Gans and Michael Winograd; Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter; and U.S. Soccer vice president Carlos Cordeiro.

United Premier Soccer League executive Paul LaPointe was the lone announced candidate who failed to earn a place on the ballot.

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Solo, who only announced her candidacy Dec. 8, managed to secure the three nominations necessary by the Dec. 13 deadline. U.S. Soccer also required all candidates to pass a background check.

The 36-year-old last played at the Olympics in August 2016, after which she received a six-month suspension from U.S. Soccer for referring to Sweden as "cowards" because of their play in a quarterfinal victory over the Americans.

The Feb. 10 election in Orlando, Florida, will see U.S. Soccer tab a new president for the first time since 2006, with Sunil Gulati announcing earlier this month he will not seek re-election after the men's national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

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"I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and talking about it with people in many different positions — many of whom told me I should run," Gulati told ESPN. "But in the end, I think the best thing for me personally, and for the federation, is to see someone new in the job."

Gulati, who ran unopposed in each of his three elections, will remain a FIFA vice president and chairman of the unified USA-Mexico-Canada bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

Speaking to reporters in Toronto ahead of the MLS Cup final Dec. 9, Gulati declined to give his public backing to any candidate, though sources have told Goal that Carter is his preferred choice.