Carlos Cordeiro has resigned as president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, effective immediately, according to a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday.
U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro resigned Thursday night, bowing to heavy criticism from players, fans and sponsors over the federation’s sexist and demeaning characterization of the U.S. women’s national team in a legal filing.
Cindy Parlow Cone, a member of the 1999 World Cup champions, takes over as president. She’s the first woman to be U.S. Soccer president.
Cone now has the daunting task of repairing strained relations not only with the U.S. women’s team but sponsors who were outraged by the federation’s blatant misogyny in its response to a gender discrimination lawsuit by the four-time World Cup champions.
In a response to a motion for summary judgment, U.S. Soccer claimed Monday night that it was “indisputable `science’” that the women lacked the “skill” of male players. It also said the women did not face the same “responsibilities” because the global game is not as developed as the men’s.
The U.S. women expressed their displeasure by turning their warm-ups inside out before their game against Japan on Wednesday night so the four stars, which represent their World Cup titles, could be seen but the U.S. Soccer crest could not.
It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the President of U.S. Soccer.
My one and only mission has always been to do what is best for our Federation.
After discussions with the Board of Directors, I have decided to step down, effective immediately. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/4B7siuIqcL
— Carlos Cordeiro (@CACSoccer) March 13, 2020
“We have sort of felt that those are some of the undercurrent feelings that they’ve had for a long time,” Megan Rapinoe said after the U.S. women beat Japan 3-1, extending their unbeaten streak to 31 games.
“It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the President of U.S. Soccer,” Cordeiro said via Twitter. “My one and only mission has always been to do what is best for our Federation. After discussions with the Board of Directors, I have decided to step down, effective immediately.”
Cordeiro’s securing of the co-hosting rights to the 2026 World Cup was an early victory during his tenure, but the rest of his stint was fraught with problems that extended beyond the equal pay lawsuit, some of which he inherited.
Volkswagen, a major sponsor of U.S. Soccer, said Thursday it was “disgusted” by the federation’s positions and said they were “simply unacceptable.”
In his resignation letter, Cordeiro apologized for the language and tone, as he had Wednesday night, saying that the U.S. women deserved better. But he also tried to claim he had not reviewed the filing “in its entirety before it was submitted.”
“Had I done so, I would have objected to language that did not reflect my personal admiration for our women’s players or our values as an organization,” Cordeiro said.