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US Soccer is at an inflection point again with new CEO, president

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Saddled with self-defeating institutional inefficiency and/or incompetence, the U.S. Soccer Federation has bungled its management of the senior national team, leading to anger and frustration among fans and stakeholders and, ultimately, costing the organization’s president his position.

Doesn’t that sound familiar?

There are echoes to this month’s implosion at Soccer House, which began with an insulting and infantile legal filing that degraded the world champion U.S. women’s national team (and all female athletes) and concluded with the resignation of president Carlos Cordeiro.

Two and a half years ago, it was the American men who helped take down a USSF president—three-term incumbent Sunil Gulati. Their humiliating failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup cast a bright and unflattering light on the federation’s power structure. Emboldened by nearly two decades of entrenchment, Gulati and CEO Dan Flynn enjoyed almost unfettered command. High-level, international technical matters weren’t their area of focus or expertise. Yet their decisions to hire and extend Jurgen Klinsmann, then to delay in firing him, then to appoint Bruce Arena, essentially went unchecked. The October 2017 catastrophe in Couva, where the USA was stunned by Trinidad & Tobago, fell as much on their shoulders as on the MNT managers and players.

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