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That candidate, of course, was Hope Solo. Solo entered the race for United States Soccer Federation president less than a week before the nomination deadline back in December. Throughout the past two months, she has been outspoken in her criticism of the federation and the two establishment candidates, Cordeiro and Kathy Carter.
On Saturday, with one final speech to drop bombs, Solo didn’t hold back:
Solo had no chance to win the presidency. She eventually garnered less than 2 percent of the vote. But she made it her purpose to lambaste the federation for its faults, and to criticize two candidates who, in her opinion, were complicit – two candidates who represented the status quo.
“When I decided to run for the office of the presidency, I did it because I couldn’t stand by and watch the sport I love, this beautiful game, continue to fail the people it was supposed to serve,” Solo began.
“I believe the federation has lost its way, and forgotten its fundamental obligation, as a national governing body, to develop the sport for all. Our youth, our adults, our recreational players, our futsal teams, our Paralympic athletes, and our U.S. deaf team. Everyone.
“I have heard from so many of you throughout this election how important change is to you. … For those of you who think the state of soccer today in the U.S. is good enough, then you should vote for more of the same.
“The establishment is backing two candidates who represent continuity, who represent not change, and who will deliver more of the same: failure on the pitch, chaos and conflicts off of it, and not the progress that we need.
“The two establishment candidates, Carlos Cordeiro and Kathy Carter, haven’t just been part of the system, they have created and shaped U.S. Soccer into what it is today. A vote for either one of them is a vote for the status quo, disunity, discord, and more failure.
“I was a player for nearly 20 years, and I saw first hand what Carlos Cordeiro’s idea of change is. You cannot, as a vice president, claim that you are the lone voice of change while all of this happens under your watch. And you, as delegates, cannot buy that.
“He was part of a federation that generated millions of dollars on the backs of its players, and much of it on the backs of its women’s players, who have been the economic engine in this federation for years, yet treated like second-class citizens.
“In 2015, as the best goalkeeper in the world, I had to play 23 games, win a World Cup, and win the golden glove only to make $40,000 dollars less than Tim Howard, who only had to play eight games and win nothing in his World Cup year.
“He was part of a federation that could have been the first in the history of the sport to pay its women equally. Instead, that honor goes to Norway while the U.S. women, the most successful team ever, has to force it through the court system.
“He was part of the same federation that, time and time again, approved unsafe playing conditions for the women, who still play on turf while the men play on grass. He was part of a federation that thinks it’s acceptable for a female player in the NWSL to make less than 10,000 dollars a year, and have to take a second or third job just to fulfill her dream of being a professional athlete.
“He was part of the same federation that leaves me with no health insurance, no retirement of any kinds, after serving my country as the best in the world for 20 years.
“For 10 years, Carlos Cordeiro was in a position to create change. And he did nothing. He failed me. He failed my teammates. And he failed the women of the NWSL.”
Solo went on to criticize the federation for letting the Boston Breakers fold. She then went after Carter, who entered election day as the favorite but lost out to Cordeiro.
She then apparently gave Cordeiro, the next speaker, a hug as she walked off stage:
Hope Solo just publicly napalmed Carlos Cordeiro, who then hugged her before coming onstage to speak.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) February 10, 2018
And then U.S. Soccer’s members elected Cordeiro their next president with 68.6 percent of the vote on the third ballot.
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