Sunday, January 14, 2018

I Went to a Soccer Town Hall

By: Vidda Grubin

If I were to sum up Eric Wynalda's vision for American soccer in very few words, it would be this...

Facilitate the expansion of opportunity to achieve.

I am tempted to leave this blog post with those words and those words only.

The part of me that was stunned at how well Mr. Wynalda expressed what I have been trying to write about for the last seven years cannot stop typing. From youth soccer, he's a dad of six, to the professional level (both female and male) to the national team level, Eric gets it.

He gets that with the United States Soccer Federation's vast wealth, power and ultimately backing and reason for being; millions of dues paying players, parents, fans and others, the next great leap forward is, and must be, by empowering each and every corner of the American soccer family to have a chance at creating Clubs (with a capital "C") that can build from youth through pro. Clubs, and the people who make them Clubs, which can strive and compete with both small goals and great big goals in mind.

Specifically, if I may be permitted to extrapolate out from what Eric Wynalda talked about (Please, Eric, if you read this, correct me where I'm misunderstanding your stance), the marketing of the American game must be taken away from SUM and brought back in house to the USSF. Talks should then be started with MLS as to whether they want to be part of the USSF's professional soccer initiatives, which will adhere to FIFA standards. The regional map for thousands of clubs to exist within a thriving American amateur and professional club soccer family is already in place. Publish the standards and requirements for each level and then help facilitate where possible.

Mr. Wynalda wants these things to happen. And importantly, he wants to use transparent governance to make them happen.

I went to a soccer town hall. I am happy I did. I hope Eric Wynalda can win the fight ahead of him. Transparent governance facilitating the expansion of opportunity to achieve is nothing less than the singular goal in front of American soccer.

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