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The Rat Race: U.S. Soccer's Possible FIFA Presidents

Sepp Blatter is out! so why not speculate on who in the US soccer world could be a suitable replacement...

USA has no shortage of icons for the FIFA rat race
USA has no shortage of icons for the FIFA rat race

It has been an incredibly tumultuous last month for the evil empire that even Darth Vader would think twice about associating with. Amid a whirlwind of criminal investigations and 5-star-hotel-level public scandals, the Swiss snake known as Sepp Blatter managed to once again win the FIFA presidency exclaiming "now I am the president of everybody" before resigning just a few days later in a flop bigger than the American opening of "United Passions".

The lengthy, rambly, and very often ironic resignation speech played less like a fallen terror and more like a martyr's last words.

The special re-election will take place between December 2015 and March 2016, leaving us with plenty of time for a Donovan-after-the-all-star-break type of goodbye tour for Blatter. Maybe the Columbus Crew will frame his Qatar card, or the Redbulls will give him a wax model of Thierry Henry's goal scoring hand.

Themba Hadebe : Associated Press

The winds of change are blowing Sepp Blatter out of the presidency...

Nevertheless, a few names have come to the forefront as candidates for president already: Platini, Prince Al-Hussein, Issa Hayatou, Van Praag, etc... boring, right? For the sake of conversation, cynicism, humor, sadness, passionate fandom and a little bit of fantasy I've compiled a list of potential US candidates for the vacant seat... enjoy!

  1. John Oliver
    Pros: Since the inception of his show 'Last Week Tonight' the Brit turned flag waving American "comedian fool" has taken FIFA issues head on. Moreover, he has educated a whole generation of new soccer fans about FIFA one youtube clip at a time... all the while in the midst of a public and fireworks-filled feud with expert videographer and "criminal fool" Jack Warner. 
    Cons: like Obama in 2008, his biggest knock will be experience... and perhaps that he isn't naturally American. At this point his gig with HBO might just be too good to pass up, but we can dream... #johnoliverforfifapresident #change #hope

  2. Sunil Gulati
    Pros: I'm pretty sure when a young and bearded George Lucas wrote the famous line in Star Wars "help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope" he was thinking of Sunil Gulati. Born in the heat of India, but raised and formed in the soccerless lands of Connecticut, Gulati is the embodied American dream. On top of being the president of USSF, a FIFA executive committee member, a vocal opponent against many corrupt acts within the organization, a voter against Blatter, and all around good guy... professor Gulati teaches economics at Columbia University. He is under valued and under appreciated by the general soccer public, yet he might hold the key to an American victory in Zurich. 
    Cons: He is American. As fun as it is to pretend that Gulati could win, it is unfortunately a pipe dream since Americans are seen as new to the party and now associated more with policing the game rather than governing it. Plus if you listen to that hack Olbermann over at ESPN, he is asking for the resignation of Gulati over the Hope Solo incident (which has less to do with the USWNT and more with the fact that she isn't charged, but hey what do I know about it). #Olbermannisanidiot 

  3. Julie Foudy
    Pros: Super Julie! I mean what is there not to like about this pick... beauty, brains, ball kicking, battle tested, beer drinking bombshell. She is a proven winner at all levels, and a former underserved player which gives her a particular insight that many other candidates simply don't have. Think of how many women's thighs will be saved with super Julie vetoing turf at a world cup. She also had to put up with Alexi Lalas during the world cup telecast so she might be next in line for sainthood. 
    Cons: She is a woman trying to get into a seat previously filled by a man that said she needed to wear tighter clothing and then later was re-elected. It is perhaps a world that isn't ready for super Julie yet... but woman oh woman would she make an incredible president. #superjulie99 

  4. Loretta Lynch
    Pros: America's greatest heroin since wonder woman, Justice Lynch. Oh sweet Loretta how much joy you have brought the world of soccer; you personify lady justice so well that we might begin rewriting greek history books. The last time I felt this much sense of justice being made Indiana Jones was liberating enslaved children in a temple of doom. 
    Cons: She may be a tad bit too busy at the moment bringing down the mafia in Zurich. But maybe after we indict the remaining jackals, lady justice will take her rightful spot as president of the beautiful game. #whoyougonnacall #lynchjustice #teamamericaworldpolice

  5. Phil Anschutz
    Pros: He once saved downtown LA and built a mecca of sports entertainment, then he saved MLS from folding, then he built the training facilities team USA calls home, then he saved Donovan from having to return to ugly San Jose, I mean, what can't he do?! 
    Cons: why the heck would he want to take on that burden? He still has an NFL stadium to build here. #comebackrams

  6. Bruce Arena
    Pros: He is without a doubt the greatest coach in American soccer history. If his success on the field could be translated to the presidency, we would be in great hands. He took the Galaxy from worst to first in one season and took the USMNT further than any other coach in modern history (step it up Jurgen). He is also widely known to be a great business mind, proven by his ability to juggle coach and GM duties with LA. 
    Cons: He shares many things in common with other legendary LA coaches like Phil Jackson and Darryl Sutter... but one of those similarities is a lack of emotion and interest when talking to the press. Just think of how much Obama has aged in his time in office, this job may kill Bruce. We may need someone a bit more charismatic and young in that position. 

  7. Grant Wahl
    Pros: Wahl is perhaps the most famous soccer journalist in America, and certainly deserves to be in the running. He may not get Beckham's vote, but hey, he calls it as it is... that's the kind of president I want: transparent and honest. 
    Cons: Well... he is a journalist and as such has surely made more than a few enemies over the years. He also works for so unless he did some bikini modeling on the side, he is probably unknown internationally. #thewahlexperiment 

  8. Landon Donovan
    Pros: As a Galaxy fan I know I am very biased with this pick, but the guy holds every individual record possible for us, so he may know a thing or two about success. Though his public speeches may be lackluster, and he is definitely a polarizing figure, he is thoughtful, passionate, and transparent to a fault. He is also a great ambassador for the sport, and is respected internationally. He speaks multiple languages and can also take a mean picture drinking from a water fountain. 
    Cons: LD was my childhood hero, so being critical of him is hard but... He may not like the pressure associated with the job and leave for Cambodia. #cambodianlair #LegenD

  9. Mia Hamm
    Pros: If you've ever wanted to feel insignificant, just look up Mia Hamm's career and accolades. Two time world cup winner, two time world player of the year, one of FIFA's 125 greatest players still alive, a record breaking hall of famer that Michael Wilbon called "Perhaps the most important athlete of the last 15 years." I'll go out on a limb here and say she may be a good candidate... plus I think it's time for a woman to be president, don't you? 
    Cons: She may be too wrapped up in trying to get Cristiano Ronaldo to LAFC to run for office. #fifagoinghamm  

  10. The Men In Blazers
    Pros: Davo and Rodg, a true dynamic duo for the ages. Alone they mortal men, but combined they are the soccer-scribbing superhuman tweed-clad men in blazers. They would without a doubt bring a fresh and worldy perspective to Zurich along with some off the cuff book recommendations, references to 80's pop culture, stop the mistreatment of gingers, and add equal parts american optimism with British self-deprecation. They say two heads are better than one, unless they're bald, in that case you need two heads to make one. 
    Cons: They might have to stop drinking so much Guinness, which would be a real tragedy for all of us. They might also have to start pronouncing MLS correctly. #Ravenoftheweek #kungfufightingamerica
Honorable mentions: Bob Bradley, Cobi Jones, Tab Ramos, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Kobe Bryant, Jurgen Klinsmann, Teddy Goals-avelt, Alexi Lalas, The Avengers, David Letterman, Giuseppe Rossi's dad, Freddy Adu's hype, Hope Solo's designated driver, whoever deleted Klinsmann's son's twitter account, and of course, Ann Coulter.

If you have any additional nominations you would like to share, or have additional pros and cons please do not hesitate to leave a comment... for the game, for the world.