Carlos Cordeiro will succeed Sunil Gulati as president of US Soccer after being elected at the organisation’s annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.
Cordeiro, a business executive with more than 30 years of experience in international finance, has been Gulati’s vice president since 2016.
Gulati, who had been involved in US Soccer for about three decades, decided last December against running for re-election. He has faced heavy criticism since the US men’s national team failed to qualify for this year’s Fifa World Cup.
Following three rounds of voting, Cordeiro won a majority vote in the first contested US Soccer presidential election since 1998, prevailing in a field that featured Paul Caligiuri, Kathy Carter, Steve Gans, Kyle Martino, Hope Solo, Michael Winograd and Eric Wynalda.
“To those of you who didn’t vote for me, I‘m going to work to earn your support and trust over the next four years,” he said. “I promise I will work for all of you to bring us together as one soccer community.”
Cordeiro clinched the presidency on the third ballot, where he easily eclipsed the 50 per cent threshold, winning 69 per cent of the vote.
He had received 36 per cent and 42 per cent respectively on the first two ballots, where he was involved in a tight battle with Carter, the on-leave president of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing (SUM).
Caligiuri, one of three former US men’s national team players in the running, withdrew after taking just 0.5 per cent of the vote on the first ballot, while corporate lawyers Winograd and Gans followed suit after the second. Former women’s national team goalkeeper Solo received less than 1.6 per cent of the vote in each round.
Cordeiro has served various roles with US Soccer since being appointed as the federation’s first independent director in 2007. The 61-year-old represents US Soccer on the Concacaf Council and Fifa’s Stakeholders Committee.