FourFourTwo's 31 Most Powerful People in U.S. soccer: 20-16
Our countdown of the most powerful people in soccer in the United States continues with an enlightening group of influencers who don't get enough credit for what they do.
Nos. 20-16 on this list feature a few names who largely operate behind the scenes, but whose power touches all corners of the professional game in this country. You may not know their names, but you should. Here's why:
20. Victor Montagliani
Victor Montagliani’s meteoric rise through soccer’s political ranks happened in Canada, but his new power as vice president of FIFA and president of CONCACAF directly impacts the United States. Montagliani is tasked with overhauling the North and Central American confederation from its decades of misconduct and corruption, a task not unlike the one taking place in Zurich.
Obviously, that all directly influences the United States, most tangibly in its bid for the 2026 World Cup. Montagliani took over as president of Canada Soccer in 2012 and immediately highlighted improved relations with MLS (“a two-country league,” as he proclaimed) as one of his chief priorities. During his tenure, Canada hosted a U-20 Women’s World Cup and the largest-ever senior Women’s World Cup.
Now, Canada has its eyes on bidding for the 2026 World Cup. So does the United States. And so does Mexico. In December, Montagliani said “the door is wide open” for some combination of a joint bid between the three countries -- including, potentially, all three serving as host. If the U.S. is going to soon host another World Cup (and with more teams than ever, if plans go through), Montagliani will have a significant say in it.