Carlos Cordeiro resigned as U.S. Soccer Federation president on Thursday night, three days after the organization filed legal papers in a gender discrimination suit claiming women players had less physical ability and responsibility than men.
His decision elevated former American midfielder Cindy Parlow Cone to become the first woman president in the history of the federation.
Cordeiro announced his resignation on Twitter without even telling the federation’s communications staff. He stepped down on a day several USSF board members issued extraordinary rebukes that criticized the governing body’s legal filings. Among them were Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber and Cone, the federation’s vice president.
A night earlier, U.S. women wore their warmup jerseys inside-out to hide the federation crest during the national anthem before a game against Brazil. Several of the federation’s sponsors issued this week backing the players and condemning the USSF.
“It has become clear to me that what is best right now is a new direction,” Cordeiro wrote. “The arguments and language contained in this week’s legal filing caused great offense and pain, especially to our extraordinary women’s national team players who deserve better. It was unacceptable and inexcusable.”
“I did not have the opportunity to fully review the filing in its entirety before it was submitted, and I take responsibility for not doing so. Had I done so, I would have objected to the language,” he wrote.