CHICAGO (Monday, December 30, 2002) - Coming off arguably the most successful year in U.S. Soccer history, the U.S. Soccer Federation will be celebrating their 90-year anniversary throughout 2003 with a number of special projects and events. To launch the 90-year anniversary, U.S. Soccer has unveiled a special commemorative logo, featuring the organization’s familiar crest over a blue-medallion and a 90-year anniversary banner. The logo will be used throughout the year on publications and other printed materials.
As part of the year-long commemoration, ussoccer.com’s popular Communications Center e-mail distribution system will include weekly articles looking back at the organization’s history. Many of the Communications Center articles will be featured in a limited-edition 90-Year Anniversary Reflection, a coffee-table book which will be published for fans and U.S. Soccer constituencies around the time of the organization’s 87th Annual General Meeting in Chicago from Aug. 13-16, 2003.
MARKING THE CELEBRATION
The historical articles will be sent out via e-mail every week and will highlight every decade across the last 90 years with feature articles on defining historical moments, question and answer sessions with key figures from U.S. Soccer’s past, detailed game note analysis with “Soccer Wire Decades” and much, much more.
Another aspect of the anniversary will see the U.S. Men’s National Team wearing a limited-edition retro uniform from one of the team’s illustrious past squads for one game in 2003. The retro uniform will be available for sale to fans in limited quantities. More details on this promotion and the unveiling of the uniform design will be announced in the near future.
For the U.S. Women, 2003 will be marked by another run at the Women’s World Cup, where they will arrive in China as defending champions. The U.S. Women will be searching for a third WWC championship when the tournament is staged from Sept. 23 to Oct. 11, 2003, in Shanghai, Hongkou, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu. While the American’s continue to play professionally in 2003 in the WUSA’s third season, which will conclude the weekend of August 23 with Founders Cup III, the U.S. Women’s National Team will also play approximately one domestic match a month to continue preparation for the Women’s World Cup.
For the U.S. Men, the 2003 schedule includes confirmed matches on Jan. 18 against Canada, Feb. 8 against Argentina, Feb. 12 against Jamaica and March 29 against Japan. A number of other domestic matches will be announced soon, with a goal of preparing the team for two major summer competitions: the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup (June 18-29 in France) and the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup (July 12-27 in the U.S.).
INCOMPARABLE INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS
Originally founded in 1913 as the United States Football Association, U.S. Soccer was one of the world’s first organizations to be affiliated with FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, and has grown into one of the sport’s organizational leaders, integrating player participation and player development into arguably the world’s most successful top-to-bottom National Team program.
As part of the evidence, U.S. Soccer’s National Team programs have qualified for 18 consecutive FIFA outdoor world championships (a number currently surpassed only by Brazil). In 2003, U.S. Soccer was the only federation in the world to lay claim to three major international championships, with the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Teams sweeping their way to CONCACAF Gold Cup crowns and the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team winning the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship.
In just the past four years, U.S. Soccer has seen their U-17 Men’s National Team advance to the final four of a world championship (in 1999 in New Zealand) and the U-23 Men’s National Team qualify for the medal round at the 2000 Olympic Soccer Tournament in Sydney, Australia; both unprecedented accomplishments. The U.S. Women, of course, spectacularly won their second Women’s World Cup crown in 1999, and in 2000 narrowly missed out on a second consecutive Gold Medal.
U.S. Soccer’s consistent success at every National Team level reached an apex in 2002 with the U.S. Men’s inspiring run to the World Cup quarterfinals in Korea/Japan. The USA’s triumph in Korea was matched only by the plaudits the team earned in narrowly losing to Germany in the quarterfinals and just missing out on a semifinal berth.
"There is no question that U.S. Soccer has come a long way," said U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia, who was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2002. "The sport has grown considerably in the United States and we thought it was appropriate to honor the pioneers on the field. Ultimately, the goal of our 90-year anniversary plans is to highlight the players and coaches who have been so influential, while showcasing the framework that has been created to provide more resources for the sport to continue to grow into the future."
Part of that “framework” will be unveiled in 2003 when U.S. Soccer’s Home Depot National Training Center opens. After 90 years of nurturing player participation and player development, U.S. Soccer’s player development initiatives will finally have a home of their own when the $130 million facility, which includes a stadium for Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy, opens in Carson, Calif., next June.
More details on the 90-year anniversary celebration will be unveiled throughout the year at ussoccer.com.
U.S. SOCCER FEDERATION – What’s in a name?
Throughout the 90-year history of U.S. Soccer, the organization has been known by three different names:
U.S. Football Association (1913-1944)
U.S. Soccer Football Association (1945-1973)
U.S. Soccer Federation (1974-current)