Carlos Coreira, a Mumbai native who has lived in the U.S. since the early 1970s, Feb. 10 was named the new president of the United States Soccer Federation.
The 62-year-old son of a Goan father and Colombian mother moved with his widowed mother and three siblings when he was 15 years old in 1971.
Cordeiro said in reports that he has “football blood” in his veins for as long as he can remember.
“With a Colombian mother and a Goan father, nothing less is expected,” the former Goldman Sachs executive told Times of India.
Cordeiro will be tasked with righting the ship of a U.S. Soccer program that saw its men’s national team fail to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986.
The failure to make the 2018 Russia World Cup led to the resignation of another Indian American, Sunil Gulati, as president of the federation. Gulati had been president since 2006 and decided not to seek reelection.
"I'm a little overwhelmed," Cordeiro said after winning 68.6 percent of the vote on the third ballot, ESPN reported. "Thank you to those of you who supported me today. Thank you very, very much. This is incredibly humbling. I want to thank all the candidates for a spirited campaign, all of you, thank you.
"I'd like to thank Sunil and our board for their tireless service, for introducing me to the game. To those of you who didn't vote for me, I'm going to work to earn your trust and your support over the next four years. I promise you I'm going to work together with all of you, to bring us together as one united soccer community. Let's all leave this room today with that in mind," he added in the ESPN report
"While the top of the U.S. Soccer pyramid has prospered, this success has not been felt equally across our federation, especially at the grassroots. In addition, after years of impressive gains, our growth has stalled. We've plateaued," Cordeiro, who was the U.S. Soccer's vice-president for the past two years, said in the TOI report.
His platform included making the office of president more like a chairperson of the board role, with the incumbent working more collaboratively with the board of directors, the ESPN report added.
He also spoke of creating a new technical department to oversee all on-field aspects, including the hiring of coaches, it said.
In business matters, Cordeiro wants to appoint an independent board member to oversee the awarding of future commercial rights contracts. And he said he will seek to make the game more affordable for players and coaches by increasing scholarships and grants, the sports website said.
Cordeiro is already a member of the influential FIFA Stakeholders Committee and CONCACAF Council, the body that governs the sport in North America, according to his bio.
"I've dedicated the past 10 years of my life to USSF as an unpaid volunteer because I'm a passionate lifelong fan of the game and believe we can take the sport to new heights in America," said Cordeiro in the report.
Cordeiro was victorious in the first contested U.S. Soccer presidential election since 1998, winning the majority vote in an eight-candidate field, which also featured two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup winner Hope Solo, leading corporate attorney Michael Winograd, besides retired footballers like Kathy Carter Kyle Martino and Eric Wynalda, the report said.