As the governing body of soccer in all its forms in the United States, U.S. Soccer has played an integral part in charting the course for the sport in the USA for more than 100 years. In that time, the Federation’s mission statement has been clear and simple: to make soccer, in all its forms, the preeminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels.
EVOLUTION OF SOCCER IN THE U.S.
In 1989, the U.S. Men’s National Team had not played in a World Cup in 40 years and the U.S. Women’s program was in its early stages. U.S. Soccer was playing games in small stadiums that did not reach capacity, few matches were televised, soccer-specific stadiums were yet to be created and there were no high-level professional outdoor leagues.
Since that time, the state of U.S. Soccer has evolved significantly. The USMNT played in seven consecutive FIFA World Cups from 1990-2014 and advanced to the quarterfinals at the 2002 event. U.S. Soccer is a world leader in women’s soccer at every level, and the USWNT has won four FIFA Women’s World Cups and four Olympic Gold Medals – an accomplishment that no other country on the women’s side has reached. The United States has also hosted three World Cups with the support of its members and strong organizational abilities.
NATIONAL AND GLOBAL SUCCESS
Professionally, Major League Soccer continues to grow in popularity and prestige with 30 teams announced throughout North America as well as increasing attendance and viewership. Also of significant importance has been the growth of the other professional tiers of the men's game with the United Soccer League growing into multiple professional and amateur tiers. Numerous MLS teams have USL affiliations to further their players' professional development. On the women’s side, U.S. Soccer administered the launch of the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013. U.S. Soccer is subsidizing the salaries of up to 24 USWNT players while the Canadian Soccer Association is doing the same for up to 16 players.
From a coaching and referee standpoint in the United States, more classes are continually being offered around the country, and the number of licensed, well-educated managers, trainers and referees is larger than ever. The education level among coaches and referees has been tailored to match the expanding pool of talent in the U.S.