USSF presidential candidate Wynalda shares his thoughts on state of U.S. soccer
Wynalda means business when it comes to this position
There's potential for U.S. Soccer to have a new president early next year, and that will certainly be the case if current chief Sunil Gulati doesn't run for another term. One of the more interesting names in the running is Eric Wynalda, former U.S. men's national team star turned soccer analyst. Wynalda was on The Leisuremen podcast at NBC Sports and had some pretty strong words when it came to the future of U.S. Soccer.
More Pulisics out there?
Wynalda was talking about the talent level in the United States and thinks there are more Christian Pulisic-type players out there to be cultivated. Something fans are hoping for after the country failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
"I would argue that there are 100 more Christian Pulisic's out there," Wynalda said. "That is quite the statement. I'm coming from practice right now with a bunch of amateur guys, [and] we discovered an 18-year-old Mexican-American boy in a Sunday league two weeks ago and he's probably going to be the best guy on my team this year. These are the kind of things that are misunderstood."
He feels that there has to be a better job scouting throughout this massive country to find those people with potential. They aren't always going to be found in youth leagues which are costly and simply can't be afforded by many families.
On talking to other soccer minds
Wynalda wants to talk to buds like Landon Donovan and Brian McBride, consult the world's best soccer minds for any advice that can help him.
"I am going to need guys like Landon, guys like Brian McBride in my corner and a guy I can bounce different ideas off of and he will come back with maybe a different look," he said. "As opposed to a politician who would say 'how can we manipulate this? How do we control this? How do we benefit from this?' Because that's what we have got right now."
The real problem with U.S. Soccer
With the failure of qualifying, some feel that there needs to be a rebuild in U.S. Soccer, from the top all the way down. Wynalda said the lack of organization is the problem.
"When you really look and dig down at the professional level and see what's going on a tiers 1, 2 and 3, it is the most disorganized professional outfit on the planet. Then you try to look at the youth organizations who are trying to develop the next superstars and they are even more fragmented than the pros. While we sit back and celebrate all this growth, it is almost that we have to remind people that cancer grows organically too," Wynalda said.
And if he wins?
"If I do, all that means is soccer has won. And that soccer will succeed in this country and progress. I'm hoping for that and I need support and I need people to understand my message. I have a lot of time to get that message across and maybe reintroduce myself to people who maybe think I am somebody else," Wynalda said.
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