Eric Wynalda doesn’t like the perception of U.S. Soccer, and he wants to bring change on every level. That’s why he chose to run for U.S. Soccer president. With the election taking place on Feb. 10, the former USMNT forward and analyst sat down with CBS Sports to talk about the problems facing U.S. Soccer, what he wants to change and more.
What’s the biggest problem facing U.S. Soccer?
Wynalda: I think that there is a perception of a reality and then there is a reality. The majority of the people that are viewing this from the outside, they see a perception — it’s worse than they thought. The biggest problem we have, if I’m tackling from a federation standpoint, unfortunately, our federation is facilitating the problem. They might very well be the problem. The issues, if we want to get into the weeds here, is that we have a very fragmented, misguided youth system that provides zero directional sense for our young players. We are malfunctioning on multiple levels. But from the outside, sometimes it is viewed as growth, success. The truth is, we really don’t have our act together from an organizational standpoint and I’d argue from a financial standpoint.
Who are you leaning on or looking to for guidance and advice when it comes to potentially replacing Sunil Gulati?
Wynalda: There has been a big group, actually. I’ve surrounded myself with some pretty smart people. More important than anything else, what I’ve educated myself on is surrounding myself with experts in the non-for-profit faction. How could we possibly do things differently? Are we too conservative? Is there a way for us to figure out a better business model? Those are people who have been vital to…