Letter to U.S. Soccer Membership - Sept. 26, 2022

U.S. Soccer Crest
U.S. Soccer Crest

To the U.S. Soccer Community:

Today I begin the most important chapter in my career as the new CEO and Secretary General of U.S. Soccer. Our president, Cindy Parlow Cone, and the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors have placed their belief in me to lead our organization, membership and the soccer community throughout our nation. I am honored to accept the privilege and responsibility.

I care deeply about soccer and imagine my journey in the game is similar to yours. I’ve chalked lines, scheduled officials, refereed matches, run camps, raised funds, recruited coaches, traveled far and wide to watch games and, of course, played the game. My experiences have often illuminated what is working in our sport and, in some cases, illustrated where we need to be better. As one of you, I can assure you that the interests of all membership and fans — in the service of growing our game for everyone — will guide me in my new role.

Our federation and our game are in an incredibly strong place.
The opportunity for growth and success at U.S. Soccer is unquestionably high. No doubt, there are real challenges for our sport and the federation—and the road to success won’t always be a straight line— but we will absolutely put in the work every day to make you all proud.

Over the last few days, in preparation for taking this role, I’ve been reading the materials shared with me by US Soccer. I had very high expectations coming in — and the thinking, aspirations and thoughtfulness of the team has even surpassed that lofty bar. That’s a credit to the team and the culture my predecessor, Will Wilson, Cindy, and the board have cultivated.

We have exciting times ahead. Eight weeks from today, the USMNT will begin its quest for glory at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The USWNT, the global leader, will defend its FIFA Women’s World Cup title next summer. From there we will build toward hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup along with Canada and Mexico — a generational opportunity to grow soccer in the US.

And while our senior National Teams are well known by our fans, I’m incredibly excited about the Federation’s commitment to growing the game broadly — making it more accessible, more inclusive, safer and more fun — including for those who haven’t traditionally felt at home within the US Soccer family. From advancing the youth and adult amateur game to increase participation and player development, reducing barriers for entry in our coaching and referee programs, supporting our men and women’s professional leagues at every level of the pyramid, continuing to invest in our Youth National Teams and Extended National Teams, and innovating with our current partners while finding new ones who align with our goals and values — there is so much opportunity to grow the game for everyone. I look forward to working with each of our members to ensure that we’re focused on advancing in each of these areas to increase accessibility and participation.

The weeks and months ahead will be spent hearing from you. Our goal is to ultimately get aligned on how we can best grow the game at all levels — and what role each of us can play collectively and individually to bring that about. We won’t always get it right, and we want your help to hold us accountable for improving.

In return, I pledge to you my accessibility, respect for new ideas, the willingness to listen and learn, an inclusive and welcoming working environment, and an uncompromising commitment to serve all in the United States who have made this game an important part of their lives.

In the meantime, I offer you my sincere thanks for your support and for the opportunity to earn your trust.  I look forward to working with you.  And I can’t wait to get to work.



JT Batson