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An Open Letter to the Youth Soccer Community in America

As you may know, U.S. Soccer formed a special task force to specifically address youth soccer matters. The belief is that our sport is much stronger when its stakeholders are working together.

We took our first step last Friday, Oct. 12, holding the first Youth Task Force Leadership Council meeting in Tampa, Fla. With a council comprised of the leadership from AYSO, SAY Soccer, US Club Soccer, USSSA, US Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Federation, we discussed a number of critical issues facing youth soccer in America.

We believe that with an eight-year runway toward the 2026 FIFA World Cup, we have an opportunity to transform soccer in America, and it starts by tackling the challenges in front of us at the grassroots level.

This Task Force, which will grow to include experts and thought leaders supporting a number of working groups, will focus on areas where we believe we can work together to create significant and lasting change, while supporting the strategic vision for U.S. Soccer.

As we work together, the following statement guides our approach:

Soccer is the most beloved sport in the world, and we believe it’s future in the U.S. will be positively impacted by our efforts to work cooperatively under a shared sense of purpose and a common belief in supporting the development of players, coaches and referees.

In that way, we believe…

… that players should be kept at the center of every decision, and should be provided with an environment that is fun, inclusive and safe.

… that coaches should participate in courses and educational opportunities that match their ambition.

… that referees should be treated with respect, and provided with the resources that allow them to develop and enjoy the experience.

There are many faces of youth soccer – across all ages and levels of competition – and we are unified in our desire to grow the sport together.

In closing, we wish to express our deepest gratitude to the many thousands of volunteers and professionals who have dedicated their lives to this beautiful game. You inspire us, and together we will work to improve the game for all those who participate in it.

AYSO – Mike Hoyer

SAY Soccer – Doug Wood

US Club Soccer – Mike Cullina

USSSA – Craig Scriven

US Youth Soccer – Dr. Pete Zopfi

U.S. Soccer – Carlos Cordeiro, Dan Flynn, John Collins and Tim Turney

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mike Anderson

    October 18, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    1. Have to put the game back in the schools (communities). Kids are already there five days a week. It works for every other sport.
    2. Let club be supplementary so experienced & knowledgeable dads can coach without it being an overwhelming commitment. I’ll bet a lot of money that there are former players, now dads who would be far superior to many of the overpaid club coaches out there.
    3. Have to get the best athletes, just like you use the best ingredients to make a great meal, or materials to build fine furniture. I believe the second string cornerback or point guard at any second tier D1 University is likely a better athlete than US soccer has ever seen or ever will see. We have to get those kids.
    4. To get those kids you have to a) allow them to play multiple sports, b) allow them to play for their school, c) there has to be a scholarship at the end of the rainbow – just like there is for every other sport – or the best athletes will quit soccer and play a scholarship sport.
    5. Yes, soccer is a ‘year-round’ sport. This is a problem for US youth. Let them play winter basketball or something. I realize it is different now but I didn’t start until I was 11, and didn’t get serious until my sophomore year in high school yet still played professionally. Others followed the same track.

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