The U.S. Soccer Board of Directors conducted its third quarterly meeting of the year on Thursday. The hybrid meeting was held in-person and virtually from Chicago and was also streamed live to the general public.

During the public meeting, the Board approved updates to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as updates and changes to the Innovate to Grow Fund program. The updates included that salaries may be part of the member’s overall budget within their fund request, with specific restrictions, and proposed a $200,000 cap per grant. A section will also be added to the application process to ensure consideration of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging while increasing the review committee from two to five individuals, which was proposed by U.S. Soccer’s Game Changers United.

The Board voted to approve two new awards that will be presented during the Annual General Meeting dinner – the Kim Crabbe Game Changers Award and the Carla Overbeck Leadership Award.

Proposed by Game Changers United, the Kim Crabbe Game Changers Award, named after the first African American woman to play for the U.S. Women’s National Team, celebrates impact in the DEIB space and sustainability and will be given to an individual who has made a long-standing commitment to positively impact their community through soccer. The Carla Overbeck Leadership Award, named after the longtime USWNT captain, two-time World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist who is known as much for her leadership off the field as she is for her contributions on the field, will be given to an individual who demonstrates a unique ability to lead and guide others and who contributes to the success of an initiative that benefits those outside their own organization and places emphasis on collaboration within and among leadership. Both awards will be formally announced with nomination and application details soon.

The Board also approved the Life Member Nominating Committee’s recommendation to nominate Bill Bosgraaf and Kevin Payne as U.S. Soccer Life Members. The recommendation will now go to the National Council Meeting for final approval at the 2023 AGM.

The Board was updated that the 2023 AGM will take place from March 16-19 in San Diego. Registration and hotel reservations will be forthcoming, and the AGM will be in-person only with no virtual component.

Below are other topics that were discussed by the Board in the public and executive sessions:

  • U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Earnie Stewart provided an update regarding the previously approved language and criteria to increase diversity and hiring of minority candidates for each open coaching position in the Youth and Senior National Teams.
  • U.S. Soccer Chief Commercial Officer David Wright provided an update on the Commercial Department’s growth, priorities, and future plans with an emphasis on the marketing plan around the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The next scheduled Board of Directors meeting will be in Atlanta on Jan. 18-19.