Sunil Gulati, the former president of U.S. Soccer, was among those voted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in the 2019 class.
MLSsoccer.com reports that Gulati, along with longtime women's national team striker Abby Wambach, was awarded the honor May 25.
Allahabad-born Gulati, 59, who was among nine finalists in the builder category, served as the USSF president from 2006 through 2018, and re-elected in 2008 and 2012. Under his watch, the U.S. women’s national team captured a pair of World Cups and the men’s national team reached the World Cup quarterfinals in 2002, the report said.
Since 2013, Gulati has been a member of the FIFA Council and previously served as USSF Committee chairman in the 1980s, executive vice president of the 1994 World Cup Organizing Committee, deputy commissioner of Major League Soccer from 1995 to 1999 and executive vice president of the USSF from 2000 to 2006.
Gulati’s family moved to Connecticut from India when he was five years old, and he grew up playing soccer. He is an alumnus of Cheshire High School in Cheshire, CT. He graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell University and earned his M.A. and M.Phil. in economics at Columbia University. In 1991, he joined the World Bank through its Young Professionals Program and served as country economist for Moldova.
Gulati was influential in helping land the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America, it added.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame voting committee determined the 2019 class from a list of 44 finalists on the Hall of Fame player ballots, 14 finalists on the Hall of Fame veteran ballots and nine finalists in the Hall of Fame builder category.
Gulati and Wambach will be officially recognized during the National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Sept. 21 in Frisco, Texas.