Carlos Cordeiro wins U.S. Soccer Federation presidential election

Video Details

Grant Wahl and Alexi Lalas break down the results of the USSF presidential election.

- Sorry, I'm a bit overwhelmed to say the least. Just a few thank yous-- to those of you who supported me today, thank you very, very much. This is incredibly humbling. I want to thank all of the candidates for a spirited campaign. All of you, thank you.


- I'd like to thank Sunil and our board for their tireless service. Sunil, for introducing me to the game 10, 11 years ago. To those of you who didn't vote for me, I'm going to work to earn your trust and your support over the next four years. I promise you I'm going to work together with all of you to bring us together as one united soccer community. Let's all leave this room today with that in mind. Thank you very, very much.


- Thank you, Carlos.

KATE ABDO: Well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Carlos Cordeiro, the new president of US Soccer. Let's get you straight out, for more on this, to our guys on the ground-- Alexi Lalas and Grant Wahl.

- Thanks, Kate. We have a new winner of the US Soccer presidency, Alexi Lalas, Carlos Cordeiro, on the third vote, gets the majority necessary to win. Your initial thoughts?

- King is dead, long live the king. This is not a sexy candidate. This is not a candidate who was bombastic in any way, as a matter of fact, he kind of flew under the radar for a lot. I think that really what it came down to ultimately, for him, was don't underestimate how important the experience was a couple of years ago when he went through an election to become vice president, won like 70% of the vote.

So he was out there talking to some of the exact same people, establishing those relationships, and then he went out there and he mined them. I mean, look, he's not the greatest public speaker. And certainly when you put him up against other folks, especially our colleagues that are in the media, he pales in comparison. But when he got in the rooms, and especially the room in front of the Athletes' Council, that's going to be a story. What did he say not to turn them, but to convince them? And then the other story is what happened within the Athletes' Council to get them block vote for Carlos Cordeiro.

- We thought, coming into this, the Athletes' Council could be the deciding factor. It turned out that was the case. If they had not voted for Carlos Cordeiro as a block, I think Carter might have won this vote on the first ballot. That didn't happen, the momentum was building for Cordeiro from there. And, yes, we need to find out what happened in that Athletes' Council room, because that's 20% of the vote.

They had a 3 and 1/2 hour meeting, here in Orlando, yesterday, did not reach a consensus. They met again for an unscheduled meeting last night, we saw them late toward midnight talking. And so clearly, they made a decision that heavily influenced Carlos Cordeiro winning this election. Now Carlos Cordeiro has tried to campaign as both a change candidate and someone who knows how the inside works and he succeeded. Do you think he really will be a change candidate?

- I think whether it's Carlos Cordeiro or anybody, you almost have to have change. Now this position is going to be a little bit different than, certainly, the way that the outgoing president, Sunil Gulati, saw it, and envisioned it, and acted on it, because he was given incredible autonomy, and power, and the ability to kind of do whatever he wanted. That's not going to happen here. Carlos Cordeiro, like anybody else, he is an insider, regardless of what he says. And there is a value to that. So much so, that as I said, he mined those contacts, we're hearing the possibility of the NWSL, in that third round, possibly flipping their vote, which put him over.

But he has got to live up to the change that every candidate was talking about. Is it as radical as some people want and some of the candidates were espousing? Not necessarily. But I think that he recognizes that the role is changing but more importantly, the things that he is going to propose, and have to work through with a lot of different people and build consensus, are going to have to be bigger, bold, and live up to that change. And a lot of people, regardless of what side and what candidate you were on, want to have happen.

- One of Carlos Cordeiro's big things was he thinks the $150 million surplus that US Soccer has right now isn't nearly big enough. And he wants the US to bring in far more revenues on the likes of the English FA, the German FA, Italy, all those federations that bring in much more money than US Soccer currently does. He thinks that will be useful to helping with youth development, and doing things like reaching minority communities that aren't being done as much right now.

- He's a former banker and this is a guy that has retired at a relatively young age, so he's been very, very successful. And in that sense, he's almost looking at it like this is an investment or a fund, if you will, to grow it. We'll see what he can grow it to. Because as you mentioned, when we do the compare and contrast with other countries, as much as we like to talk about the money, the reality is the US Soccer Federation needs more money. If he can grow that, it will do a lot in terms of feeding those things that he wants to do.

- And if you're asking, who is Carlos Cordeiro right now? Pretty incredible life story. Grew up, was born in India, father died in a car accident aged 10, came with his mother and siblings to live in Miami, all of them went to Harvard, became a Goldman Sachs banker, and retired early, very well-off, was able to fund his own campaign. He won't have as big a role as, maybe, Gulati did as president. No future US Soccer president may. But we'll see what he does from here. Back to you, Kate.