US Soccer has approximately 140,000 referee members across 55 state organizations and is responsible for these referees across all forms of soccer including but not limited to Futsal, Indoor Soccer, Beach Soccer, Power Soccer etc.

Current US Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced that he is not going to seek a fourth term in office this year. He ran unopposed in his previous elections, however this election due to be held on February 10th, 2018 in Orlando, Florida will have eight candidates running for this position.

Here at You Are The Ref we follow US Soccer keenly with many of our Academy members hailing from there as well as having held soccer camps in various locations across the country; so we decided to contact all the candidates questioning them on their policies surrounding referee development within the US.

As and when each presidential candidate answers our questions, we will update this page.


Michael Winograd

Michael Winograd is in the unique position of having the experience, independence, and skillset necessary to bridge the soccer and business sides, bring parties together, and lead US Soccer into its critical next phase of growth. Read more here..

What do you see as the biggest problems within US Soccer in terms of Referees/Refereeing? What can you do as USSF President, if elected, to help change these problems:

This poor treatment of referees is the biggest problem for Referees in the USA which leads to the other two issues which need to also be addressed, and that is we need to do more to attract and retain referees and change the way referee administration is handled within US Soccer.

» Read more of Michael's answer....

It is not okay to treat anyone the way referees are treated, let alone a referee who is in a position of authority. There is a big push in the USA currently to stop bullying and the harassment of referees are a form of this. There needs to be a zero tolerance.

Changing the culture of Referee treatment: Zero tolerance for poor attitudes toward referees. Back when I was playing there was two (2) things coaches used to tell players regarding referees. 1. “What the Ref says goes” – there was no arguing with the referee, and 2. “Play the Whistle”. There was a tremendous amount of respect back then, now unfortunately it seems to be in the Professional Leagues all the way down to the Youth Level where arguing and yelling at the referee is now the “norm” and the problem is that the grown adults especially as coaches and as spectators are setting poor examples for the youth playing the game and this is infiltrating to the next generation.

US Soccer needs to enforce a zero-tolerance policy across all of its competitions, starting by issuing standards, guidelines and principles for coaches, players and spectators. Something that is easily digestible and simple to understand and regains in people’s minds that what the referee calls, goes, end of story.

Less than 1% of all people in soccer move onto the Professional Ranks, as such Soccer is more about the experience and teaching of life skills than it is about the professional development. We want to attract people who are good role models and lead by example to clean up the game where we can focus on player development as well as life skills, such as mental toughness, focus, teamwork etc

The ways Referees are being treated has a big impact on recruitment, if we fix how referees are being treated, it will greatly assist with the attraction and retention of referees. Marketing will help with this as well as investing in referees for recruitment and appropriate courses and development opportunities for all levels as well as having a clear pathway for our elite referees.

The Administration of US Soccer Referees needs to change, there needs to be a shift in the dictatorship to transparent decision-making processes which involve the input of experienced personnel who have their feet on the ground and understand the current needs of the sport. US Soccer shouldn’t get into the business of running referees unless it must, they should issue standards and guidelines and ensure that these are being enforced. The processes put in place need to utilize the best resources with fair objectives. Outside organizations who have people with more experience are the ideal way to develop referees locally with US Soccer ensuring they meet the mandatory requirements and expectations. US Soccer needs to provide a pathway for elite referees that is transparent and follows a similar format to how national players are selected and trained. US Soccer can groom elite referees identified at the top level to be the kind of referees they are wanting to represent the Nation, but locally more emphasis needs to be utilizing expertise and resources from private businesses to help reach all referees.

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Paul Caligiuri

Paul Caligiuri has spent his entire life dedicated to The Beautiful Game. His accomplishments as a player are well known: representing the U.S. in the Olympics and two World Cups, playing professionally in the German Bundesliga as well as in Major League Soccer, and, of course… Read more here..

YATR are still awaiting a response.



Kathy Carter

Kathy Carter’s entire professional career has been in service of growing the sport of soccer in the U.S. While building her career as a successful soccer industry executive, Carter never stopped playing the game she grew up loving. Read more here..

YATR are still awaiting a response.




Carlos Cordeiro

A life-long soccer fan, Carlos Cordeiro has served as an unpaid volunteer to USSF for the past 10 years.  As Vice President since 2016, he has worked to reform Board governance with a focus on greater transparency and accountability. Read more here..

YATR are still awaiting a response.




Steve Gans

Steve Gans is a partner in the Boston law firm Prince Lobel Tye LLP, focusing on business, sports and employment law. Steve is also a principal of Professional Soccer Advisors, an international soccer consulting agency. Read more here..

YATR are still awaiting a response.




Kyle Martino

Kyle Martino has played at all levels of U.S. Soccer—from youth, to college, to MLS and the USMNT, to a local adult league today. Read more here..

YATR are still awaiting a response.




Hope Solo

A World Cup Champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist and winner of the 2011 and 2015 FIFA World Cup Golden Glove awards, Hope Solo is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world. Read more here..

YATR are still awaiting a response.




Eric Wynalda

Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda is one of the most iconic figures in American soccer. A three-time World Cup veteran, Wynalda has 106 caps and is fourth on the all-time scoring list for the US Men’s National Team with 34 goals. Read more here..

YATR are still awaiting a response.


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