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Gulati's No. 2 Cordeiro to run for U.S. Soccer president

5:51 PM EDT 11/1/17
Carlos Cordeiro USA
The federation vice president has confirmed his plans to contest his longtime colleague for the top job in February

U.S. Soccer vice president Carlos Cordeiro has confirmed plans to run against longtime colleague Sunil Gulati for federation president.

The former Goldman Sachs partner outlined his vision in a letter to potential voters Wednesday, calling to host the 2027 Women's World Cup in addition to the bid to co-host the men's tournament in 2026.

Cordeiro joins Steven Gans, Eric Wynalda and Paul Lapointe in announcing his candidacy for president, with Landon Donovan reportedly considering a run as well. Gulati, who has served as U.S. Soccer president since 2006, has indicated he plans to run for a final four-year term in February's election.

"U.S. Soccer has achieved a lot over the last 25 or 30 years, but I think we've hit a plateau," Cordeiro told ESPN.

"To use a business phrase, this is a growth story. We have the best set of demographics in this country. We have a wealthy country, a country with a strong corporate base for sponsors and an amazingly strong fan base. We simply need to aim higher than we have been."

Cordeiro has proposed increasing U.S. Soccer's budget from roughly $100 million annually to $500 million by 2027, and he wants to separate the business and technical sides of the federation by creating a general manager position that would be responsible for hiring national team coaches.

Gulati has come under fire in recent weeks after the U.S. men's national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Having run unopposed the previous three cycles, Gulati finds himself facing his first contested election for the federation presidency.

"This is not about Sunil," Cordeiro said. "I've decided to take the plunge here because I think it's about the federation and how I fit into that. Sunil has been a friend and I very much hope he will continue to be a friend."