Ilyanna Gutierrez

Manager, Media/Broadcast Operations
U.S. Soccer Federation




Sophie Luks, U.S. Soccer YNT Administrator
Gisela Moreno, U.S. Soccer Administrative Specialist


Can you start by telling me a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in Southern California and moved to Chicago in 2017 when I started working for U.S. Soccer. Soccer was a huge part of my life growing up and I knew I wanted to work in this sport ever since I was in high school. During the 2006 World Cup I would watch Univision’s coverage every day and since then I was set on working in the media field. I attended Cal State Dominguez Hills and I picked that university because the Home Depot Center was right next door, where LA Galaxy plays, and Chivas USA used to play. I started my career as a PR assistant at Chivas USA and would find a way to be involved with the soccer scene in the greater Los Angeles area whenever I could, whether it was Gold Cup, Copa America, international friendlies, etc. I would get involved and that eventually lead me to where I am today.



How would you describe your job?

I handle media and broadcast operations for our senior Men’s and Women’s National Team games. The media operations side of my job involves going to different venues and developing a plan to provide a consistent top-notch service to media, no matter the venue that we are at. The broadcast side includes servicing all broadcast stakeholders at matches and that ranges from where the TV trucks park to placing a backdrop on the field for a postgame interview. My role also requires me to serve as a liaison for media and our broadcast partners for away matches and that ranges from securing match credentials to making sure we get a TV signal back in the United States.



What do you love about your current job?

I love the team that I work with; we’re like a family. I enjoy getting to know the PR staff of different teams and chatting with media. I love working with our broadcast partners. This job requires a lot of travel, but I enjoy the challenge of going to different venues and creating an operations plan custom to each venue. It never gets boring.



What advice would you give to women who might not know what direction in the sports industry is right for them?

When you’re starting out you should take every opportunity that you can, whether it’s paid or unpaid. It’s a tough industry to break into and to stand out in, but it’s important for you to be willing to do anything and everything and let your work ethic and skills shine through. Volunteering is a great way to learn about different sides of the business, build your resume and make great connections.



Who inspires you the most, and why?

I was very fortunate that when I started working in soccer, I came across women in this industry that took me under their wings. There’s Irene Gutierrez who has managed PR for the Mexican National Team when they play in the States and is involved with every international tournament that happens here, Vicky Mercado who is the Senior Communications Manager at LA Galaxy, Olivia Cervantes who I met at Chivas USA and showed me the ropes, and Elizabeth Sanchez who works at the Chicago Fire. They’re all so talented at what they do and they inspire me to be better.



How do you see women in sport growing in the future?  What would you like to see?

There have been many times where I have not only been the only woman in the room, but also the only person of color. I think that when you don’t have a diverse group seated at the table – whether that be gender, ethnicity, life experiences etc. – you’re shutting out a different perspective and fresh ideas. Women love sports and make up a substantial portion of team fan bases across all sports and I’d like to see more women reporters in the press box, more women coaching across all sports, more women executives, and I think we’re making strides in that direction.