The field for U.S. Soccer president keeps getting bigger.
One day after current president Sunil Gulati announced he would not seek another term at the position, the field grew by one as Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter announced her intent to seek the position.
In addition to leading SUM, Carter, a former goalkeeper at UCLA, previously worked as a vice president in Major League Soccer and was a member of 1994 World Cup organizing committee. She has also been involved in the organization of multiple women's World Cups.
“I don’t believe that any other candidate has the unique skill set that I do,” Carter told the New York Times. “I’ve got 25 years of walking the hallways with soccer as my business. This is not about anybody else. This is about me being the most qualified person to lead the federation into the next generation.”
SUM is the marketing arm of MLS, but also handles rights deals for the U.S. national teams, both men and women, along with Mexico’s national side.
In order to run for the position, Carter announced she is taking a leave of absence from her position as president of SUM.
I'm excited to announce my candidacy for President of @ussoccer. Soccer can, and should, become the leading sport in America, and I intend to make that vision a reality. Thrilled for you to get to know me and my vision for the game. https://t.co/8NVQanibat pic.twitter.com/n5TZWnT1SN— Kathy Carter (@soccerkcarter) December 5, 2017
Carter joins a crowded field that includes former U.S. national team members Eric Wynalda, Kyle Martino and Paul Caligiuri, along with USSF vice president Carlos Cordeiro, Steve Gans, Paul LaPointe and Michael Winograd.
Current president Gulati has been the head of U.S. Soccer for over a decade, but came under intense scrutiny after the men’s national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia thanks to a 2-1 defeat to Trinidad and Tobago on the final day of World Cup qualifying.
Despite that setback, Gulati may well have been the favorite to win a final term in the role had he chosen to seek it once more. However, he decided against it on Monday, telling ESPN the federation needed new blood in the position.
"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."
Candidates have under Dec. 12 to announce their candidacy and pick up the required three nominations to run. Carter told the Times she has not yet secured the three nominations but is working on that.