Foster the Best Playing Environments

All soccer participants should have access to safe, fun, dynamic and inclusive environments designed to help them learn, grow and fall in love with the sport. 

Our coaches and referees are critical to healthy soccer environments. Their leadership creates a positive space for participants and their communities, yet many face barriers to participation. We are committed to increasing the number of coaches and referees across all levels of the game (grassroots, youth, adult, collegiate, high school, professional, etc.) by reducing barriers to participation, ensuring access to robust educational tools and deepening and strengthening development pathways. There is no question that the continued participation and passion of quality coaches and referees are key to the future success and sustainability of our sport. 

We will partner with our members to address the specific barriers facing referees, including extensive abuse, and the unique barriers facing coaches, including educational access. To increase the number and quality of our referees and coaches, U.S. Soccer will democratize access to information, generating and curating high quality soccer knowledge that will be available to all in our ecosystem.

Ensuring our sport is safe for all involved remains a non-negotiable standard. We’ll continue to develop and invest in our Safe Soccer Clearance Program, which will positively impact the broad sporting landscape, so participants are safe both on and off the field.

In the long-term, we will examine creative uses of technology, the curation of culturally inclusive content and more to ensure we have a great environment to enable more participants to join and stay in soccer.

Accelerated Initiatives

While we work diligently with our membership and stakeholders over the next several months and into the 2024 Annual General Meeting on long-term planning, we are accelerating select initiatives to drive immediate impact against our strategic pillars. We will provide updates in the months ahead regarding the progress of these accelerated initiatives and will keep our community informed of additional progress made in advancing our strategic pillars.

World Cup 2026 Legacy

FIFA World Cup 2026 in North America has the potential to transform the trajectory of soccer in the U.S. forever. To capitalize on this incredible opportunity, we will be launching a legacy platform in 2024 designed in partnership with our members and the entire soccer ecosystem. The platform will engage national, regional and local stakeholders to drive grassroots participation, engage and cultivate a new generation of fans and unlock new funding to ensure that we make the most of this unprecedented opportunity.

Safe Soccer Clearance Program

Our new Safe Soccer Clearance Program will transform how we approach safety across the soccer ecosystem by creating a public database of those participating in our sport, ensuring a minimum standard of safeguarding education and providing a mechanism for keeping bad actors out of the game. This program will redefine the processes and criteria used to determine eligibility to participate in our sport, ultimately providing players with a safer, more enjoyable environment.

Growing the Numbers of Referees

In the coming months, U.S. Soccer will initiate several new programs to grow the number of referees in our ecosystem. We will work in partnership with our existing referee community and member base to reduce barriers to participation through digital access, address referee abuse, improve the referee experience and promote the value of referees in soccer to all our audiences.

Democratizing Soccer Knowledge

To ensure that every participant in our sport has access to the best information to grow and develop, we will be creating an open-source learning and community-building platform. This will be a place to aggregate and curate the best content that exists in the soccer community, from coaching to refereeing, to parent resources, to training videos for players of all ages. This level of information sharing will ensure that anyone participating in soccer can be connected to the best resources in real-time.