NEW YORK (June 25, 2009) – United States Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon today accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors for the USA Bid Committee in its efforts to bring the FIFA World Cup to the United States in 2018 or 2022.
A champion for soccer as a vehicle for social change as the leader of the Foundation, Foster-Simeon has more than two decades of experience at various levels of the soccer industry. He has been an active member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2004 where he served on several committees, including the Executive Committee. At the grassroots level, Foster-Simeon is a former Vice President of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association and past president of Prince William Soccer, Inc. — a 3,000 player recreational and travel club.
“Through my role with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, I am acutely aware of the profound impact this sport is having on the development of young people in this country,” said Foster-Simeon. “FIFA’s vision for the 1994 World Cup paved the way for our organization to generate significant revenues toward the continued growth of soccer in the United States over the last 15 years. Another World Cup in the United States would help consolidate the vast and diverse soccer culture that continues to develop in this country and I look forward to doing all I can to help us realize this dream.”
Foster-Simeon was named President of the U.S. Soccer Foundation on May 31, 2008, after spending 15 years in various editorial positions with USA TODAY. With his breadth of leadership and organizational experience, Foster-Simeon was uniquely suited to head up the efforts of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, which was established in 1995 to manage the surplus funds generated by the 1994 FIFA World Cup USATM tournament.
“The 1994 World Cup was a success on so many levels, but none more important than the nurturing role of the U.S. Soccer Foundation,” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “As its president, Ed Foster-Simeon knows what is required to manage and develop a meaningful legacy program that has positive and lasting effects both on and off the field. That experience makes him an invaluable addition to the USA Bid Committee Board of Directors.”
Working to enact positive social change through the sport of soccer for more than 15 years, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has taken a leading role in continuing the development of the sport at all levels with the following results, among others:
• Awarded more than $51 million in grants, financial support and loans to help develop coaches, players and referees, especially in economically disadvantaged urban areas.
• Awarded more than $22 million to soccer clubs and organizations in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia.
• Joined forces with FieldTurf to build 22 full-size synthetic fields in 13 states around the country.
Prior to taking over the reins of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Foster-Simeon was the deputy managing editor at USA TODAY, the nation’s largest circulation daily newspaper. In that position he planned and directed the newspaper’s coverage of the 1998 World Cup in France. Foster-Simeon was responsible for coverage of Washington, Politics and Foreign news, planning and executing the newspaper’s coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, he developed and implemented the Journalist Safety Program for staff members working in war zones and hostile environments.
Foster-Simeon served as chairman of USA TODAY’s Page One Task Force in 1999 whose recommendations led to significant improvements in the newspaper’s content and newsroom organization. He was named USA TODAY Staffer of the Year as result of that work. Prior to joining USA TODAY, Foster-Simeon served as metropolitan editor at The Washington Times. In his early career, Foster-Simeon worked as a U.S. Navy journalist and senior writer at All Hands magazine, the Navy's flagship publication based in Washington, D.C.
The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022.
All candidates must have their bid applications to FIFA by May 14, 2010. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.
Foster-Simeon joins the Board of Directors of the USA Bid Committee that recently welcomed University of Miami President Donna Shalala, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. National Team icons Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. In the months ahead, the USA Bid Committee will add additional national leaders from the sectors of sports, entertainment, government and business.
The USA Bid Committee’s efforts also recently earned the support of President Barack Obama, who has reached out to FIFA – the world's governing body of soccer – to endorse the efforts to bring the world’s largest sporting event back to the United States. In a letter to FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, President Obama noted the role soccer played in his life as a youth, and its ability to unite people, communities and nations from every continent.
“Hosting another successful World Cup is important for the continued growth of the sport in the United States. And it is important to me personally,” President Obama wrote in his letter. “As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighborhood together. As a father, I saw that same spirit of unity alive on the fields and sidelines of my own daughters’ soccer games in Chicago.”
“Soccer is truly the world’s sport, and the World Cup promotes camaraderie and friendly competition across the globe,” President Obama added. “That is why this bid is about much more than a game. It is about the United States of America inviting the world to gather all across our great country in celebration of our common hopes and dreams.”
ABOUT U.S. SOCCER:
Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for soccer in the USA for more than 95 years as the governing body of the sport. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been simple and clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a pre-eminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels. To that end, the sport’s growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable as U.S. Soccer’s National Teams have continually succeeded on the world stage while also growing the game here in the United States with the support of its members. For more information, visit ussoccer.com.
ABOUT THE USA BID COMMITTEE INC.:
The USA Bid Committee is a non-profit organization created to prepare a successful application to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022 on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation. The Bid Committee will submit its comprehensive bid to FIFA by May 2010, with FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee making a decision in December 2010. Members of the USA Bid Committee in alphabetical order include former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman (Asia) Carlos Cordeiro, U.S. Men’s National Team player Landon Donovan, Executive Director David Downs, U.S. Soccer CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati, U.S. Women’s National Team former player Mia Hamm, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Democratic National Committee National Finance Chair Philip Murphy, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and University of Miami President Donna Shalala.