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Thursday Night Stunner: Carlos Cordeiro steps down as head of US Soccer Federation

Following a week where attorneys for US Soccer have labeled the four-time world champion US Women’s National Team as being inferior to the men’s squad, two complaints about the filing from major sponsors as well as one from Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, embattled US Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro has stepped down from his position, effective immediately.

“My one and only mission,” Cordeiro wrote in a statement posted to Twitter at 9:06 p.m. Thursday evening, “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 new direction. The arguments and 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. It was unacceptable and inexcusable. I did not have the opportunity to fully review the filing in its entirety before it was submitted, and I take responsibility for not doing so. 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.

“After discussions with the Board of Directors, I have decided to step down, effective immediately.”

US Soccer Vice President Cindy Parlow Cone, who tweeted earlier Thursday that she was “hurt and saddened” by the filing, will serve as President of the federation following Cordeiro’s resignation. She was first elected Vice President in 2019, and was re-elected to that position a month ago.

Cone had played for the Atlanta Beat in the defunct Women’s United Soccer Association as well as for the US national team when it won its second World Cup title in 1999. She also won the NWSL with Portland as its coach in 2013.

Cordeiro’s reign began in February 2018, where he helped US Soccer as well as the Mexican Football Federation and the Canadian Soccer Association secure hosting rights to the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

But after this week’s filing by the federation against the US women’s players — who have sued for equal pay; the players protested against the filing before their SheBelieves Cup game Wednesday, coming out for pre-match activation with their warm-up tops inside out to hide the US Soccer shield — and after complaints by sponsors Coca Cola and Volkswagen, as well as a terse statement issued by Garber on Thursday, pressure mounted on Cordeiro to step down.

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