U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro announced his resignation late Thursday night. Cordeiro, who held the position since 2018, will be succeeded by the federation’s first-ever female president, Cindy Parlow Cone.
Cone is U.S. Soccer’s current vice president and played for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1996 to 2004. She also a was a member of the historic 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team and won two Olympic gold medals with the team in 1996 and 2004.
The news comes after a rocky week for the U.S. Soccer Federation amid its battle with the USWNT over equal pay.
In a legal response to a gender discrimination suit filed by 28 members of the U.S. Women’s National Team against the federation in March 2019, the federation had argued that male players are physically superior and that their sports’ participation requires a greater level of skill.
News of the filing’s language spawned backlash this week, prompting the USWNT to wear their pregame warmups inside out during a match on Wednesday, hiding the U.S. Soccer crest and exposing only the four stars representing each world championship title won. Cordeiro issued a public apology that same day.
In his resignation letter, he writes: “My one and only mission has always been to do what is best for our Federation, and it has become clear to me that what is best right now is a new direction. The arguments and the language contained in this week’s legal filing caused great offense and pain, especially to our extraordinary Women’s National Team players who deserve better.”
Cone will assume the role until the 2021 U.S. Soccer Annual General meeting next February where there will be an election for a one-year term to see out Cordeiro’s original tenure. Then in 2022, another election for the job will be held to find a president for the next four years.
How Team USA’s Megan Rapinoe Is Fighting for Equal Pay
Why Members of the US Women’s Soccer Team Are Wearing Their Jerseys Inside Out
Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe and Others Star in Nike’s Inspirational International Women’s Day Video