Kyle Martino, who is campaigning to be the next president of US Soccer, dropped by The DA Show on Tuesday to discuss his platform, which is rooted in transparency and equality.
The election will be held Feb. 10, with the winner to replace Sunil Gulati, who has served his post since 2006. After the U.S. men’s team failed to qualify for the World Cup, however, change was needed.
In truth, it was needed even before then.
“This is nothing new,” Martino said on The DA Show. “It’s only coming to light now and it’s only loud enough to hear because of the men’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, and I think that’s perfectly emblematic of how broken our system is – that the first time in three terms we’re having an open election, and the only reason we’re having it is because of a cataclysmic failure.”
Martino believes US Soccer is in need of a major cultural shift. The current regime, he said, has lacked transparency and accountability.
Why is that?
“Well, I want to believe it’s not because they have things to hide,” Martino said. “But if some of the business relationships that they have and some of the governing issues that seem to be conflict of interest and seem to be counter-productive in terms of growing a game and serving a membership, I’d really want US Soccer to come out and help the membership understand that. Because whether it’s real or perceived, feel is real in the community right now. The membership feel they’re not being served, and they feel that decisions made by the federation currently – and I don’t include everyone in that; there’s 150, 160 employees – they share this frustration, too, the same frustration the membership have of not knowing who’s making what decision. It’s absolutely crucial that we elect a leader.”
Martino is one of several candidates running for president. Kathy Carter, Carlos Cordeiro, Eric Wynalda, Steve Gans, Mike Winograd, Hope Solo, and Paul Caligiuri are among the others.
“I do believe the membership are speaking right now,” Martino said. “They’re going to create a mandate – a mandate for better transparency, a mandate for a president to full-time work for the members and hold people accountable and create an actual system that exists to serve the game and serve the community. US Soccer has been given many opportunities over the years to put away rumors and to dispel notions of conflicts of interest and they haven’t done a good job of answering those questions.”