The following Position Statement has been sent by the United Soccer Coaches to all eight of the candidates in the U.S. Soccer Federation presidential election. The organization wanted to make sure that each of the candidates consider advocacy for coaches as an important leadership responsibility if they are elected.
Dear U.S. Soccer Presidential Candidates,
As a voting member of U.S. Soccer, United Soccer Coaches has watched the unfolding of the presidential election with optimism.
We do not know who will win this election, but on behalf of the tens of thousands of coaches we represent and serve, we ask the same thing of each candidate that has entered this race:
Please, unite the entire soccer family.
Our association’s mission is simple: to provide programs and services that enhance, encourage, and contribute to the development and recognition of soccer coaches, their players, and the game we love.
In 2017, we changed our name to better reflect our scope of uniting soccer coaches at every level around the love of the game through Advocacy, Education, and Service. Our member coaches are in every soccer organization and level of soccer in America including Youth, High School, Adult, College, and Professional. In fact, we are the largest soccer coaches association in the world. Diversity is what we celebrate, and inclusion is what we stand for.
We ask each of the presidential candidates to support these five points:
Respect the time and talents that all coaches give—from parent volunteer to pro. They shape the soccer experience.
Recognize that effective soccer coaching education comes in different shapes and sizes. Collaborate with your member organizations and coaches to identify multiple coaching education pathways, rather than dictate “this way or the highway.”
Embrace all levels of our sport. High school soccer is a valuable part of the soccer culture in thousands of communities across the nation. College soccer drives our youth game. Adult amateur soccer provides opportunities for lifelong participation.
Celebrate and encourage the extraordinary talents of elite youth and professional players, but know our sport is strongest when every player loves the game. Don’t forsake the 99% for the 1%.
Honor America and American soccer coaches by respecting that our soccer roots are now deep and rich. We can learn much from the rest of the world, but help us strengthen our own path to soccer greatness.
The 71st annual United Soccer Coaches Convention, which took place in Philadelphia this year and included over 13,000 member coaches and guests, was a perfect reflection of what our association stands for. With great intention, it united everyone in the American soccer family around the love of the game. We were pleased to offer a venue to all eight of the candidates, so we could hear firsthand what you had to say.
We respect that you tossed your hat into the ring and have committed to, if elected, taking on the leadership mantle.
United Soccer Coaches is not governance of coaches; it is service to and advocacy for coaches. For those that govern, please consider servant leadership as the standard of excellence and advocacy for coaches a leadership responsibility. United Soccer Coaches will support you.
Note: The position paper was signed by president Leslie Gallimore, CEO Lynn Berling-Manuel, board members and committee members.