United Soccer Coaches CEO Lynn Berling-Manuel announced Friday that she will be stepping down at the end of her contract on December 31, 2021.

“It is my honor to serve as CEO of our association, and this is a positive time for the Association and for me to make this announcement and begin to implement transition

plans,” said Berling-Manuel, the first female CEO of United Soccer Coaches. “This gives United Soccer Coaches 10 months to select my successor, plan for the 2022 annual convention In Kansas City, and, hopefully, see the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic ease. It is important to me and the Association to ensure a smooth handoff.”

“Lynn’s leadership has guided our Association through a variety of milestones and challenges,” said Dr. Missy Price, President of the Board of Directors. “We have evolved under her stewardship and I’m grateful to have served on the Board of Directors during Lynn’s tenure as CEO. Lynn’s business acumen coupled with her devotion to the Association will be missed. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Lynn for serving as our CEO and for positioning United Soccer Coaches as one of the premier coaching membership associations in the country. We look forward to honoring Lynn for her long service and commitment to United Soccer Coaches during the Kansas City 2022 Convention.”

Berling-Manuel was selected as CEO in 2015 after a nationwide search to replace then CEO Joe Cummings. During her tenure, the Association saw major changes and successes, including:

  • Hosting the first West Coast convention in 25 years
  • Rebranding the Association to United Soccer Coaches to better tell the larger story of the Association’s role as the advocate and partner for soccer coaches
  • Creating a new membership model that now includes the Association’s vast digital eLearning content and resources as part of membership benefits
  • Producing the Association’s first Digital Convention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic impact on travel and large gatherings
  • Implementing a multi-year conversion to a modern business system in Salesforce
  • Establishing professional staffing and a Board position for the Advocacy Council
  • Celebrating the United Soccer Coaches Foundation exceeding $1 million dollars in endowment funds, which results in more grants and scholarships being awarded each year.

“I have received tremendous support from both our members and the larger soccer community as well as our Board during my tenure at United Soccer Coaches,” said Berling-Manuel. “I know the next CEO will receive the same. I love this Association and will be there with any help the new CEO can use.”

Before being named CEO, Berling-Manuel had served on the Board of Directors of the then-NSCAA for 10 years as an At-Large member appointed by the president. As CEO she continues to serve as an ex officio member of the Board.

Throughout her career, Berling-Manuel has served in multiple executive leadership capacities, including over 20 years as Publisher and CEO of the soccer media company, Soccer America, seven years as Chief Marketing Officer for the national youth soccer organization, AYSO, and five years as President of the West Berkeley Foundation, a city development fund in Berkeley, Calif.

A search will begin in May to find Berling-Manuel’s successor.