After the United States failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the leadership of American soccer has been questioned. This has put a much brighter spotlight on the election in February for U.S Soccer Federation president. 

Sunil Gulati, who has served three four-year terms as president, faces several intriguing challengers if he chooses to run again. But his competition might be even stiffer if the job came with a salary.

"That's one of the reasons I've kept saying and I keep banging my head or the gavel: 'Let's get this a paid position,'" former USWNT star Julie Foudy says. "Because then you open it up to a lot more qualified candidates or just a larger pool of people. I mean I could never step away from my job and say I'm going to do this full time. It's really a full-time position. You can't just dive in and do it part time.

"So I hoped that gets changed. There's a lot of people, including myself, who have been trying to change that. I hoped that gets changed in the near future."

Michael Bradley, Christian Pulisic

The fiasco with the USMNT during World Cup qualification could serve as the rallying point to make some institutional changes.

"Everything gets re-examined as it should," Foudy says. "With loss comes growth. In those tragic moments there's always a silver linings, although you don't want to hear it at the moment. But there's something good that's going to come out of that. Had the men qualified, then none of this gets looked at, right? And really you're glossing over a lot of cracks that needed some attention because they're going to become bigger cracks. And there are some issues that need attention. In the end, as hard as it is to see that team not qualify, I'm just hopeful a positive silver lining is something good that comes out of that."

But there is also a movement among members of the U.S. Soccer board that would restrict the president's authority. The New York Times reports that " ... future U.S. Soccer presidents may find themselves occupying a significantly less powerful position than the one Gulati currently holds."

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