United for Progress: FAN QUESTIONS TO US SOCCER (DECEMBER ’19)

We asked. You TOLD us. And we took your questions to U.S. Soccer.

Part of the American Outlaws’ mission is to be advocates for our members and the larger National Team fanbase and hold those responsible for the good of the game accountable.  Part of that is to elevate your voices, so we took your questions and concerns from the member survey and chapter calls and presented to USSF.

In early November following the MNT’s loss in Toronto to Canada in the CONCACAF Nations League we asked AO members to let us know their feelings on the state of U.S. Soccer, its governance, the MNT, the WNT and the youth development program.

During our initial conversations with U.S. Soccer we proposed that various members of the Federation’s administration, Sporting Director Earnie Stewart, MNT coach Gregg Berhalter and WNT General Manager Kate Markgraf would be made available occasionally to speak to fans about where US Soccer was at the moment and where it was headed. We also agreed that AO would continue to bring various topics such as ticket prices to US Soccer to make our National Teams as accessible as possible.

In early December representatives of AO were invited to the public U.S. Soccer Board of Directors meeting. While there AO also met with US Soccer officials where we shared the results of our member survey and the main takeaways.

During the time in Chicago AO co-founder Justin Brunken sat down with US Soccer’s Chief Administrative Officer Brian Remedi, Stewart and Berhalter for the first of what we hope are many Q&As giving voice to our members and American soccer fans as we seek transparency and clarity on behalf for the National Team community.

Process:

  • The questions asked of Remedi, Stewart and Berhalter were a summary/combination of some of the most frequently asked questions from our November AO member pulse.
  • U.S. Soccer was provided the questions in advance of each interview in order for the interviewees to consider and provide concise answers. No questions were removed from our list by US Soccer.
  • The one question we were unable to to ask during the sit-downs was about equal pay. US Soccer provided the following statement in response to this inquiry:

“There are many differences between our women’s and men’s pay structures and competitions that has made direct comparisons between their pay extremely difficult, and in the end there has been confusion about what our women’s and men’s players are actually paid by U.S. Soccer

In the end, U.S. Soccer strives to ensure that all our national team players, women and men, are paid fairly and equitably. Our overall mission is to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States by developing players, coaches and referees at all levels, which means we have a responsibility to use our resources wisely to serve all our members and to plan prudently for the future with long-term investments that help grow soccer for many years to come.

While we have been a leader in women’s soccer across the world, we always strive to do even better and are always looking to determine areas where we can improve. We are focused on resolving this matter in the best interests of the WNT and U.S. Soccer, and are committed to doing right by our players.

We will continue to have discussions in the goal of finding common ground. We are optimistic we can find a way forward.”

Neil Buethe – U.S. Soccer

  • Kate Markgraf was unavailable in December but the plan is to speak with her and new WNT Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski at a future date
  • We are also looking forward to scheduling a time to conduct additional conversations with U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordiero and the future US Soccer CEO (TBD)
  • The videos were recorded by U.S. Soccer at Soccer House in Chicago, IL.

BRIAN REMEDI

Follow the video link to our YouTube page for a link of questions and time stamps.

EARNIE STEWART

Follow the video link to our YouTube page for a link of questions and time stamps.

Gregg Berhalter

Follow the video link to our YouTube page for a link of questions and time stamps.

relevant articles For Background on the Questions:

A variety of these topics were brought to US Soccer for comment in our first round of meetings.

“US Soccer Is Neglecting Latino Talent—and It Shows” (The Nation)

“USMNT, U.S. Soccer Remain Stuck in Crisis Mode” (Sports Illustrated)

“Far From World Cup, Hints of Rebellion Inside U.S. Soccer” (New York Times)

“The U.S. Men’s National Team Had A Major Attendance Problem In 2019” (Forbes)

“U.S. Soccer Federation’s Struggles Deepen” (Wall Street Journal)

Equal Pay For Equal Play; The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Tackles Its Next Quest” (National Public Radio)

Q&A with Kate Markgraf on WNT Success in 2020 and beyond (The Athletic)

Not the end, but the beginning

Our meetings last month we’re just the beginning of a pro-active, accountable discussion on behalf of American soccer fans. We want to hear from you to help us keep asking questions.

Follow us on Twitter

Email us at info@theamericanoutlaws.com

Become an American Outlaws member