The U.S. Soccer Membership approved a range of appointments and proposals during Saturday’s National Council Meeting at the 2023 U.S. Soccer Annual General Meeting in San Diego.
Throughout the AGM, which was held from March 15-17 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego, U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone and CEO JT Batson emphasized the federation’s focus to align and work closely with its entire membership to grow the game in the United States.
“The energy around the last couple of days has been palpable,” Batson said in a statement. “There’s a lot of excitement and positive momentum. We had a great Board meeting, we’ve had great committee meetings. There’s excitement and belief in the positive direction where soccer is headed in this country and specifically where U.S. Soccer is headed and our focus on membership from the grassroots, youth and adult levels all the way to the pros and all of our National Team programs.”
With an unprecedented ramp of opportunity to grow soccer in the United States over the next few years that includes the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the 2024 Copa America, which will be hosted in the United States, the 2024 Olympic Games, and the 2026 World Cup which will be co-hosted in the U.S., the meeting largely focused on ways to elevate the voice of U.S. Soccer’s members across the entire ecosystem to increase participation at all levels.
The meeting also focused on participant safety and U.S. Soccer’s vision for Safe Soccer, which in collaboration with its membership would introduce a transition from a red-light approach to a green-light approach. Rather than reprimanding bad actors after an incident, all participants — including coaches, referees — would have to be cleared prior to becoming involved in the sport at any level.
Earlier in the day, the Athlete’s Council held their elections, determining that Chris Ahrens will serve as Athletes’ Council Chair, while Cassidy Leake was elected to serve as Athlete representatives Vice Chair with a 2025 term. Danielle Slaton, Oguchi Onyewu, and Whitney Engen were elected to serve as Athlete representatives Vice Chairs with a 2027 term.
In other AGM news:
* Following a vote, Down Syndrome Sports of America was admitted to full membership as a Disability Service Organization.
* Following a majority vote, the proposed U.S. Soccer FY ’24 budget was approved.
* The National Council approved the addition of Bill Bosgraaf and the late Kevin Payne as Life Members.
* Juan Uro was unanimously approved by the Nominating and Governance Committee to serve another term as an Independent Director on the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors.
* The proposed amendment to Bylaw 412 was adopted after earning the minimum two-thirds vote in the affirmative. The amendment changes the composition of the board by making the vice president non-voting.
* Several Bylaw amendments were adopted related to Youth and Adult governance, adding responsibilities and requiring the establishment of an annual meeting date for each council.
The next U.S. Soccer AGM will take place in Dallas from Feb. 8-11, 2024.