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The New Haven Register sports department is celebrating our 200th birthday by sharing 200 of the most interesting stories relating to sports in Greater New Haven over the past 200 years. Check back daily for historical updates.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cheshire's Sunil Gulati, president of U.S. soccer

Sunil Gulati may not be a recognizable name to most. But in soccer circles, on every level imaginable, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential people over the last 35 years in the development of soccer in the United States.

Gulati, a 1977 Cheshire graduate and former soccer player for the Rams, is the president of the United States Soccer Federation, the nation’s governing body of soccer. He was elected in 2006 after six years as executive vice president.

“I really got the bug to be involved with soccer when I was studying abroad and internationally,” Gulati said Monday from London, where he attended the U.S. women’s Olympic soccer victory over Canada. “The international aspect of the game was intriguing. I wanted to be active in developing that and have U.S. soccer be a part of that international scene.”

Alan Rothenberg, founder of Major League Soccer and a former USSF president, once called Gulati the single most important person to soccer’s development in this country.

Read Dan Nowak's complete story.

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