We recently sent a letter to FIFA headquarters in Switzerland. Having spent months studying American soccer, meeting with professional players and coaches, young athletes and officials, we at SFC felt compelled to share what we have learned.
The United States Soccer Federation is systematically structured in a way that disenfranchises fans and undercuts Division II leagues like North American Soccer (NASL). USSF is an institution depraved, utterly corrupted by dark money influence and conflicts of interest.
Diving further into the weeds, we find USSF Board’s power distribution completely indefensible. Two top executive officers, bureaucrats really, control 13.33% of the total Board votes, an equivalent amount as allocated to the Adult, Youth, and Professional Councils. Three independent directors, without any significant stake in the sport, outnumber and outvote each of these councils, having 20% voting power.
USSF presidents and vice presidents, like any official working at an administrative agency, want to enhance and maintain power. In other words, the governing structure of American soccer incentivizes stagnation and greed to win out over fundamental change.
Equally concerning is how improperly intertwined Soccer United Marketing, Major League Soccer, and USSF are. To a large degree, they simply have become different arms of a single economic entity. Direct economic ties between these organizations have created ample reasons for federation management to protect MLS’s interests over and above other stakeholders. It is wrong. Fans deserve better.
So what do we want for US soccer? First and fundamentally, for the federation overseeing it to be responsible and neutral in disputes between leagues. Parties should engage in adult negotiations over these trivial matters and focus on the systemic problems plaguing American soccer, namely grassroots player development, and a disservice female professional players.