Merritt Paulson, yes the same guy who owns our Timbers and Thorns, was just elected to the board of directors of US Soccer. This has sort of been lost in all of the hubbub about Sunil Gulati being unanimously re-elected as the President of the organization.
The news should not be too big of a surprise. Both the Timbers and Thorns organizations are world class, with the Timbers being arguably one of the top teams on the continent last season and the Thorns emerging as one of the top womens soccer clubs in the world. There has been no official word yet out of the Timbers PR group regarding this, and there might not be considering it is not really team news, but stay tuned for additional details should they be made available.
Official Press Release
CHICAGO (March 1, 2014) â€“ U.S. Soccerâ€™s membership re-elected Sunil Gulati as President of the U.S. Soccer Federation by unanimous consent on Saturday at the Marriott Marquis in New York. Gulati, who ran unopposed in the election, enters his third four-year term after having served as U.S. Soccerâ€™s President since 2006.
In other news at Saturdayâ€™s National Council meeting, Merritt Paulson and Arthur Mattson were elected as new members of U.S. Soccerâ€™s Board of Directors. Paulson replaced Kevin Payne, while Mattson replaced Richard Groff. Donna Shalala was also re-elected as an Independent Director, while Rocco Amoroso and Francisco Marcos were voted as Life Members.
â€œIâ€™m honored to be granted the opportunity to serve our membership as President of the U.S. Soccer Federation,â€ said Gulati. â€œOver the years, soccer has made numerous strides in the U.S. and we are excited by the sportâ€™s boundless potential for growth in the future. Iâ€™m looking forward to being part of soccerâ€™s bright future on all levels throughout the country.â€
A native of Allahabad, India, Gulati has more than 30 years of experience at all levels of soccer in the United States and has helped the sport rise to new heights. During the past four years as President, Gulati has continued his mission of improving soccer in the United States by taking an active approach on improving the structure and development of the sport in the country, while also reaching out to broaden the organizationâ€™s relationships within the international community.
Last April, Gulati was also elected to the FIFA Executive Committee and is serving a four-year term as one of three representatives from the Confederation that encompasses North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
As a highly regarded senior lecturer in the economics department at Columbia University, Gulati balances his academic work with numerous responsibilities within the sport worldwide.
In other news at the National Council Meeting, Richard Groff was presented with the 2014 Werner Fricker Builder Award. The annual award, which honors the late U.S. Soccer President Werner J. Fricker, is presented to an individual or individuals who have worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement.