As we begin to operationalize this strategic framework, it is important to share how we are thinking about achieving our goals. Below is a non-exhaustive list of philosophies we will embrace – or continue embracing – as we drive this important work forward.
All soccer is soccer.
We support soccer in schools, YMCAs, the rec league down the street and everywhere else our beautiful game is played. We celebrate development academies and our members’ clubs. We dream about the Open Cup, World Cups and 1v1 shootouts in the backyard. We advocate for adapted styles of play that ensure players of all abilities can compete. We want kids and adults kicking a ball as much as possible as part of our members' affiliated programs, within broader community programs and even outside of any formalized program at all.
Pathways, not pyramids.
We want to develop life-long soccer participants AND World Cup champions. While establishing elite player pathways to fuel our National Teams, we also actively support our members working with players of all ages and abilities. Any positive path in the game is the right path for a player, coach, or referee – from grassroots or organized youth leagues, to high school, college play or adult rec leagues.
Accessibility and inclusivity make us better.
Making soccer accessible and inclusive to all is core to our mission. It’s what will help us grow and impact more lives through our sport.
Safety is non-negotiable.
Through enhanced education, prevention, detection and response mechanisms, we are committed to setting a new safety standard for our sport so that all participants, at all levels, have a safe and respectful place to learn, grow and compete.
National Team success is critical.
Strong National Team performances drive and impact all parts of our work. On-field success enables commercial success, encourages fandom, inspires participation and galvanizes soccer culture across all levels of the game.
Revenue enables investment in growth and success for all.
Commercial success enables investment that delivers results on and off the field and helps grow the game at all levels across the soccer ecosystem.
Pro league success benefits the entire American soccer ecosystem.
Pro leagues will help deliver consistent and frequent fan engagement in local communities across the country to grow fan bases and the commercial market. The more successful the leagues, the more they can invest in player, coach and referee development – which benefits the entire U.S. soccer ecosystem and improves the quality of our participants. Increasing the quality of our domestic pro leagues will improve the playing environments U.S. players have access to, as well as our National Teams’ opportunities for development. We must make every effort to support and celebrate pro league success across our country.
Collaboration is a force multiplier.
Our members have an incredible depth of experience and expertise, and U.S. Soccer will continuously seek to tap into those resources to ensure we are all learning from each other as we undertake this critical work. We will make every effort to convene, collaborate and share successes throughout the soccer ecosystem. We recognize that many of the best practices we are seeking to promote already exist in the ecosystem and it our job is to share and amplify the great work our members are already doing.
Intentional, rigorous decision-making and prioritization will make us more effective.
There will be tough decisions ahead. Grounded in our strategic plan, we won’t shy away from making hard choices about how we spend our time, energy and resources. We need to build and document transparent processes that provide clarity and empower staff, engage stakeholders and ultimately ensure we operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Scalability is key.
This is a time to think BIG. Scalability must be front-and-center in everything we do if we are to have true impact across our massive nation. We must embrace technology, mobilize our partners, empower our members and engage millions across the soccer landscape.
We must be tech-forward.
Innovative and effective technology will positively transform our organization and enable our efforts to have national impact. We will create common and open systems, where content is stored, curated and shared, so more people can benefit.
Fiscal responsibility today enables bigger opportunities tomorrow.
We must rigorously manage our finances to ensure long-term sustainability, including driving consistent transparency within our organization and to our membership. By continuously managing our financial position, we’ll build more trust and gain a greater working grasp of our resources – so that when new opportunities arise, we’ll have the confidence and funding to invest and drive more impact.
Customer service wins.
We will approach all our stakeholders – members, players, coaches, referees, parents, partners, donors, fans and the boarder soccer community – with a customer service and partnership mindset. Through service, we build trust, deliver better experiences and retain more participants in the game.
We integrate DEIB into everything we do.
U.S. Soccer represents and celebrates a beautiful, diverse nation. We champion diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging both internally and externally. On and off the field, diversity makes us stronger, smarter and more effective. Creating the most equitable and inclusive environments will help us continue to grow the game. We want to engage diverse communities across America and ensure all feel welcome in our sport.
Role clarity streamlines results.
There are so many people working inside and outside U.S. Soccer who want to see our sport thrive. U.S. Soccer is an enabler, facilitator and convener of the soccer ecosystem – and each of our stakeholders have critical roles to play to grow and refine our sport.