United Soccer Coaches has submitted a proposed amendment to the U.S. Soccer bylaws that would ensure the national association has representation on the U.S. Soccer board of directors, the organization announced Wednesday.

The proposed bylaw change would provide each associate member, a category of membership that includes United Soccer Coaches, a vote for the at-large board member that represents those U.S. Soccer members that do not have an automatic seat on the board.

“We believe this is an important bylaw change to ensure that all U.S. Soccer members have a voice at the board level,” United Soccer Coaches CEO Lynn Berling-Manuel said.

The bylaw amendment will be voted on by the U.S. Soccer National Council at the Annual General Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz. Feb. 14-17. The bylaw must receive a two-thirds vote to pass. Last year the total number of votes was 1,219, but that number can fluctuate from year to year.

“Our board of directors is excited about this bylaw proposal,” United Soccer Coaches immediate past president Lesle Gallimore said. “We feel it serves to represent and advocate for our membership in a way that shows we truly believe in uniting all soccer stakeholders in the U.S. and making sure that United Soccer Coaches and all members are a part of the conversation.”

Associate members are part of the “other affiliated members” of U.S. Soccer also known as the at-large committee. It encompasses all member groups that do not have a direct seat on the board. Associate members are able to vote for national officers and bylaws, but they do not currently have a vote for the at-large board member that actually represents them. associate members is a category of U.S. Soccer members that do not register players.

Associate members had a full seat on the board until the 2006 board restructuring that reduced the board from more than 40 members to its current size of 14 voting members.

There are two associate members, United Soccer Coaches and the U.S. Armed Forces Sports Council. The “other affiliated members” of U.S. Soccer are:

American Amputee Soccer Association, American Youth Soccer Organization, SAY Soccer, USA Deaf Soccer, US Club Soccer, U.S. Futsal, United States Power Soccer and United States Specialty Sports Association. There are 12 votes for the at-large board member accrued to the other eight organizations based on their size.

The proposed bylaw change would give each associate member one vote for the at-large board member.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.