USA Soccer Federation’s President Sunil Gulati speaks on Indian Football

In an exclusive interview with FIFA, Sunil Gulati, President of the United States Soccer Federation and a FIFA council member, spoke about the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup, India’s clash against the USA in the opening game, Football development in India and various other topics.

“Every World Cup draw is exciting, but the fact that USA is drawn into the same group as India is especially meaningful for me,” Gulati told in an exclusive interview.

“The overall tournament will be an inspiring event for the sport in India, and the chance for the US to help open the tournament on the first day is a special opportunity. Of course, with Ghana, a perennial power at U-17 level and Colombia in the group, it won’t be only about the US and India.

“I think India’s made a lot of strides in football,” Gulati said. “It’s a big challenge there because it’s such a large country, it’s not traditionally been the number one sport and it’s also got a very diverse population. In those senses, it’s a bit like the USA. We’ve talked about this with the AIFF (All India Football Federation) leadership on some of the similarities with the challenge that we’ve had in the U.S. and that they’ve got here.”

The U-17 World Cup is an important event because it’s a showcase event. You’ve got so many young players that become stars from this tournament and I think there will be fond memories for those players and the people watching them.

“It’s a great opportunity to see young players who aren’t constrained,” Gulati continued. “Maybe some of the discipline and pressure you see in senior team football is lost there, and I think that’s a good thing at this age. You don’t know who those stars will be, whereas in a World Cup you expect Messi or Ronaldo to step up. So many top players come through this tournament and I think it’ll happen again.”

“Christian’s obviously done very well for us,” Gulati said. “He was clearly a very good player, but I don’t think many would have predicted how quickly he became an important player for our national team and at Dortmund, who have a lot of very good players. He’s a great talent.

“We had Landon Donovan at New Zealand 1999, he was the Golden Ball winner there. DaMarcus Beasley got the Silver Ball in that tournament and he’s played four senior World Cups. Those are important names in our history and hopefully Christian becomes a very important name in our future.”

“I think I’ll skip my classes at Columbia [University] and come for that opening game!” Sunil Gulati laughed.

India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…


Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…


Sunday Boys to hold trials for MFA 1st Division

MFA 1st division side Sunday Boys FC will be conducting trials in the first week of November for the upcoming football season Sunday Boys Football Club was established in the…