U.S. Soccer

Statement from the Nominating and Governance Committee on Potential Candidates for U.S. Soccer President

CHICAGO (Dec. 13, 2017) – As of 12 a.m. today, U.S. Soccer has received three or more letters of nomination for eight (8) potential candidates for the office of President of U.S. Soccer. Background checks are still being completed on a number of potential candidates who submitted their authorization form Tuesday evening.

To afford the time necessary to properly complete all background checks, and in the interest of ensuring a level playing field, the Nominating and Governance Committee will formally confirm the slate of candidates when the background check process has been completed for each of the eight potential candidates. Background checks are required by U.S. Soccer Bylaw 401, Section 5.

The Nominating and Governance Committee is authorized by Bylaw 431 to oversee “the process for nominating candidates for elective office and for determining their eligibility to hold office.” The process the Committee is following is: (1) to review the nomination letters received to ensure there are sufficient nominations/letters of support submitted by organization members and/or athlete members of the Board of Directors; and (2) to ensure the individual has completed a background check with the National Center for Safety Initiatives and that no conviction or no contest plea to a felony or crime of moral turpitude was reported.

Provided the candidate has met each prerequisite, they will be confirmed on the candidate slate. Once the process is complete, the slate will be announced. The Committee has no plans to make public the nomination letters or the number received by any candidate on the final slate. 

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Dec 13, 2017

Where You Go We'll Follow: American Outlaws Celebrate the Past 10 Years, Look to Future

Throughout U.S. Soccer's Fan Week, we'll bring you feature stories on those that go above and beyond in their support of our teams, players and the federation itself. On Monday, we talked to Kelly Johnson and Dale Houdek, who fell in love while traveling to support the U.S. Men's National Team. At the Men’s and Women’s Nike International Friendlies earlier this month, we caught up with some members of the American Outlaws (AO), U.S. Soccer’s largest supporters’ group.

“We love you, we love you, and where you go we’ll follow.”

These words represent the highlight of Ron Chin’s U.S. Soccer fandom, a devotion that dates to 1969. He earned his first cap in August 1973, but his most memorable moment as a supporter came last year at the 2016 Nike International Friendlies. Rising U-17 stars like Josh Sargent and Andrew Carleton serenaded the American Outlaws assembled in Lakewood Ranch with those words after taking home the tournament title.

“(The Friendlies) are their American Outlaws initiation,” Chin said. “They knew our support came from the heart and they were serenading us from the heart. It was very personal. At the Friendlies, we are U.S. Soccer evangelists. We’re about the future of AO and the National Teams.”

The serenade’s verse encapsulates all that the American Outlaws have represented during the last ten years. It’s a go-to chant for AO on gameday.

Founded in 2007 to support the U.S. at every single one of its matches – men and women – the American Outlaws now boast more than 30,000 members and 195 chapters nationwide. After a decade of dedicated support, AO’s presence at the Friendlies ensures that the future of the National Teams feel their backing in full.

“We want to support the Youth National Teams. They’re the future,” said Justin Brunken, Co-Founder and Vice President of AO’s National Chapter. “If we have the bandwidth and the capability to do that, we need to. We want to make them aware that people actually care and support them at this level. It’s hard to do that if you’re not here.”

Brunken, alongside Korey Donahoo, founded AO in 2007. He and his friends would travel across the country to follow U.S. Soccer, but when they arrived at their destination, they never had a way to connect with like-minded fans. A desire to share their passion for soccer and to make a grand entrance on game day catalyzed the creation of the Outlaws.

“We didn’t see a way to meet up with other people from all around the country,” Brunken said. “So, we said ‘why don’t we just do that?’ We built our whole thing on community, trying to bring people together both online and in person, and communication, making sure everyone knows this is where you can meet fellow fans.”

After the frustration of not finding festivities around gameday, consistency was key for Brunken and the other AO founders. Now, the group is a mainstay at National Teams matches, putting on night-before parties, tailgating pre-game and loudly making their presence known in the stadium.

“Our mission with AO is to be at every single game, men’s and women’s, in some capacity to unite fans,” said Brian Hexsel, AO’s National Chapter chairman. “We have over 195 chapters across the U.S., so even if you can’t make it to a game with the American Outlaws, you can always have an AO family at your bar in your own city.”

An idea to bring fans together from all over the country has taken Brian and Justin all over the world following U.S. Soccer. They travel to as many games as they can domestically and abroad, and the trips have provided innumerable memorable moments.

Brunken’s journey to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup was beset by a bevy of travel issues, arriving in South America just two hours before the USA’s opener against Ghana was scheduled to kick off. Taking a shuttle from the airport, the traffic was so slow Brunken and his compatriots ditched the car more than a mile from the stadium to make a mad dash to the field. It was an unbeknownst race against the clock to see the fastest World Cup goal in U.S. Soccer history. 

“We got in there just in time to buy a beer and see Dempsey score,” Justin said. “I’m an adult and I cried so hard.”

More than 500 people travelled on the Outlaws’ package to Brazil. The trip turned into a family affair for Hexsel, who had the opportunity to visit his Brazilian relatives but also grow closer with his AO compatriots.

“It’s a family,” Hexsel said. “Travelling to games with your friends, you become like a travelling family that loves the sport and wants to be a part of something. That’s American Outlaws. It goes to ‘Unite and Strengthen,’ that’s our motto.”

AO’s power to “Unite and Strengthen” the American fan base doesn’t go unnoticed by the National Teams. Brunken remembers a mass of fans waiting outside the MNT’s bus in Pretoria, South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Then-head coach Bob Bradley started to tear up when he saw the overwhelming support.

“Oh, that’s why we do this,” Brunken said upon seeing the teary-eyed coach.

That personal connection with U.S. Soccer is what keeps bringing Chin back to the Nike Friendlies. He founded the local Sarasota chapter, and he has spearheaded the AO contingent at the annual event for the last four years. Chin prides himself as being one of the first Outlaws to see players like Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams and Sargent play. This year, he also witnessed the rise of Sophia Smith, Jaelin Howell, and other Youth WNT players.

The U-17s that serenaded Chin and the rest of AO last year in Florida put together a remarkable run at this fall’s 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. Chin grew close with the players’ families at the Friendlies, and he was in contact with them during the tournament. After his experience with the players at the Friendlies, it was essential to Chin that they knew there was a piece of home behind them.

After their “AO initiation,” Chin is excited to see where the young players go next. He won’t be missing the Friendlies anytime soon.

“I may be the old man, but always have an eye not only for the past, but also for the future,” Chin said. “The excitement comes in watching the future of the National Teams. We have to be supportive of the future generations and make sure that they’re playing for something. Whoever comes down here and wears the crest, we’ll be there for you.”

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MNT U-17 MNT Dec 13, 2017

Five Things to Know About the National Referee Camp

U.S. Soccer’s National Referee Camp takes place this weekend and will draw top referees to Southern California as they hope to either become National Referees or maintain their status at the top-tier of American officiating.

When/where/what is the National Referee Camp?
US Soccer’s National Referee Camp is an annual event held to test and certify new National Referees (the highest level achievable through USSF) and recertify current National Referees. The 2017 National Referees Camp runs from December 14 – 17 in Chula Vista, California and welcomes both male and female match officials for consideration.

Currently certified National Referees and those newly selected will undergo rigorous physical testing, with strict pass/fail parameters, to achieve certification or recertification. There will also be extensive classroom work over the course of the Camp (quizzes, video analysis based on FIFA’s five points of emphasis, practical field sessions and topics presented by FIFA Instructor and trailblazing American referee Esse Baharmast).


How many referees are invited to the 2017 National Referee Camp?
A total of 96 match officials, selected by US Soccer, and 120 National Referee Coaches will be in attendance at the 2017 National Referee Camp.

How do you become eligible for the National Referee Camp?       
Referees get to this point by starting at the ground floor as a Grade 9 or 8 official, working small sided or 11 v 11 youth games. They then progress to Grade 7, which can be the starting point for adult soccer, before moving on to Grade 6 State Referee and working the highest-level adult and youth games. Grade 5 State Referees make up the pool of officials that are selected for potential upgrade to the National level as a Grade 3 or 4, specializing as a referee or assistant referee. There is no guarantee that a Grade 5 will be selected as a National Referee, but all officials considered for grade 3 or 4, and in attendance at the National Referee Camp, are certified Grade 5 officials.

What on-field requirements must be met to receive certification & re-certification?

Referees run two tests:

  • 6 X 40 meter sprints
    Men, maximum of 6.00 seconds.
    Women, maximum of 6.40 seconds
  • 75 meter run X 25 meter recovery
    Men, 15 seconds 75 meters, 18 seconds 25 meter recovery
    Women, 17 seconds 75 meters, 20 seconds 25 meter recovery
  • Both men and women run 4000 meters (10 laps around the track)

Assistant Referees run three tests:

  • CODA (Change of Direction Agility) 10 x 8 x 8 x 10 meter sprint.
    Men 10.0 seconds.
    Women 11.0 seconds
  • 10 meter sprint, 8 meter side step left, 8 meter side step right, 10 meter sprint.
  • 5 X 30 meter sprints.
    Men 4.70 seconds.
    Women 5.10 seconds
  • 75 meter run X 25 meter recovery:
    Men: 15 seconds 75 meters, 20 seconds 25 meters
    Women: 17 seconds 75 meters, 22 seconds 25 meters

Both men and women run 4000 meters (10 laps around the track)

*Failure to meet any of the above requirements will disqualify an official from consideration for National Referee Certification in 2017. 

What games can a referee with National Certification officiate?
Nationally certified Referees and Assistant Referees are eligible to officiate at the highest professional levels of American soccer, including Major League Soccer (MLS), United Soccer League (USL) and North American Soccer League (NASL). National certification is the highest level available through the US Soccer Federation and one step below the highest worldwide – FIFA Status – which allows a referee to take charge of international matches and potentially officiate at the FIFA World Cup.

You can keep up-to-date with what the hopeful match officials in Chula Vista. We’ll be telling some of the their stories on ussoccer.com and on Twitter @ussoccer_ref and facebook @ussoccerrefereedepartment

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Dec 13, 2017

The Most Magical Fans: WNT & MNT Join Forces with Make-A-Wish

In 2017, the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams met seven incredibly special people thanks to Make-A-Wish, a non-profit organization founded in the United States that arranges "wishes" for children with life-threatening medical conditions. During this #FanWeek2017, we want to give a big thank you to Make-A-Wish for introducing us to Elissa, Ashlyn, Madelyn, Charlie, Sydney, Andie and Aisnley, who taught us what perseverance and determination looks like. You guys, you are the superstars and we will always have your backs. 

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WNT Dec 12, 2017

National Soccer Hall of Fame to Open Oct. 20, 2018 in Frisco with Induction Ceremony, Concert and Hall of Fame Game

FRISCO, Texas (Dec. 12, 2017) – The National Soccer Hall of Fame will open Oct. 20, 2018 U.S. Soccer and FC Dallas announced today during a media event at Toyota Stadium. The 2018 Hall of Fame weekend will kick off with the 2018 Enshrinement Ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 20 when the newest members of the Hall of Fame will take their place among soccer’s elite. The 2018 Hall of Fame induction class will be announced in March 2018.

Soundbites and b-roll from today’s media event as well as additional informational materials about the Hall of Fame are available HERE.

The weekend will also include the 2018 Hall of Fame game featuring FC Dallas and a to-be-determined MLS opponent on Sunday, Oct. 21, the NASL 50th anniversary match and a concert. To learn more about the NASL match, please visit NASL50th.com. Details of the concert will be released at a later date.

Soccer fans will get a sneak peek of the National Soccer Hall of Fame in July 2018 when the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Club opens. This club space offers a casual sports bar atmosphere on gamedays with a 1300 square-foot patio offering unobstructed views of the Toyota Stadium pitch. The gameday locker rooms and state-of-the-art media room will also open in July 2018.

“October 20th can’t come soon enough,” said FC Dallas president Dan Hunt. “Not only will this be a technology-driven experience that honors the men and women who made U.S. soccer what it is today, the National Soccer Hall of Fame will also provide outstanding educational opportunities for students across Dallas/Fort Worth. The clubs and new seats are gamechangers that will offer unparalleled views for all guests who visit Toyota Stadium for games, concerts or any other special event.”

“We are excited to see all the progress that has been made on what will be a truly special soccer experience at the new National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco,” said U.S. Soccer CEO and Secretary General Dan Flynn. “From the beginning, the Hunt Family has been a dedicated and passionate partner in building a first-rate Hall of Fame that ensures soccer fans will be able to celebrate the history of the beautiful game in the United States for generations to come. We are also grateful to the City of Frisco and the Frisco ISD for their help with this important project and couldn’t be happier with the results so far.”

The National Soccer Hall of Fame also unveiled its new logo (click HERE to download images) and official website, NationalSoccerHOF.com, today. There you can find updated information on construction, events and Hall of Fame season ticket memberships. Historical information about Hall of Fame inductees can be found at ussoccer.com/about/national-soccer-hall-of-fame.

Part of a $55 million renovation at Toyota Stadium, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is a public-private partnership among FC Dallas, the City of Frisco, Frisco Independent School District and U.S. Soccer.

For more information, please contact Gina Miller at 469-365-0198 or Gina@NationalSoccerHOF.com.

About the National Soccer Hall of Fame
The National Soccer Hall of Fame was first located in Oneonta, NY and known as the National Soccer Museum from 1979-2010. It became known as the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1983. The facility closed in February of 2010. In 2013, FC Dallas owners, Clark and Dan Hunt launched a campaign to bring the Hall of Fame to Frisco. Their father, Lamar Hunt, was inducted to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1982.

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Dec 12, 2017