Rocco Commisso: “If we have the courage to choose a new leader with a fresh vision and a genuine commitment to representing all stakeholders at each level of the professional and amateur pyramid, I have no doubt that soccer will become the preeminent sport in the United States.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

In the wake of Sunil Gulati’s announcement that he will not run for a fourth term as U.S. Soccer Federation president, Cosmos owner Rocco B. Commisso Tuesday said the U.S. soccer community has a “monumental opportunity to move our sport in a new direction.”

Commisso, who is also chairman of the North American Soccer League, issued a statement through the Cosmos early Tuesday afternoon.

“If we have the courage to choose a new leader with a fresh vision and a genuine commitment to representing all stakeholders at each level of the professional and amateur pyramid, I have no doubt that soccer will become the preeminent sport in the United States,” Commisso said in his statement.

Gulati announced Monday night that he would not seek re-election.

The NASL is appealing a court ruling and a USSF decision to rescind Division Two status for 2018.

Both sides have filed briefs and updates that argued their sides on why or why not the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York should overturn the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York’s ruling.

Oral arguments in the appeal are scheduled to be heard Dec. 15 at 10 a.m.

Here is Commisso’s full statement:

The stunning failures of the U.S. men’s national team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and the last two Olympic Games has exposed the larger, systematic problems plaguing the development of soccer in this country.

There is no doubt in my mind that our great nation has the talent pool and resources to be consistently successful on the international stage. What we are lacking is leadership.

With Sunil Gulati’s announcement that he will not see re-election as president of the United States Soccer Federation, we have a monumental opportunity to move our sport in a new direction.

If we have the courage to choose a new leader with a fresh vision and a genuine commitment to representing all stakeholders at each level of the professional and amateur pyramid, I have no doubt that soccer will become the preeminent sport in the United States.