Monday, May 13, 2019

It is not a movement based on...



Over the last few months many people on Reddit have seen a proliferation of posts espousing racist, anti-Semitic, and other disgusting language directed toward them under the guise of support for #ProRelForUSA. Some of these people have even implied that they are in support of Daniel Workman and my own efforts to create systemic change in American soccer.

Here are just a few small examples... 













Back in 2016 I penned a letter that was signed by 17 people (including Daniel Workman) who are outspoken supporters of the #ProRelForUSA movement.

READ IT HERE

To quote this letter

"It is not a movement based on personal attacks, negativity, degradation, racism, ethnic prejudice and hatred."

That statement holds just as true today as it did these years ago.

I am an easily "Google'able" person... search me and find my work as the Racial Justice Director of the YWCA Charleston... find the Race to End Racism 5k Run Walk... find my articles...  find my work as a 4-H agent for West Virginia State Univ. with inner city children in program after program... find my work in soccer... find our inclusive club... find me calling out US soccer for its lack of diversity and structural sexism...  what you will not find is support for racism, antisemitism, homophobia, misogyny, etc.

Once again I am going to use my voice, as limited as it is, to stand up and say that these attacks are not welcome.

We do not want your "help" fighting for #ProRelForUSA if this is what your "help" is.






Tuesday, February 26, 2019

How the Professional Council divides its power is sexist. Period.




 I think my tweet from the USSF AGM perfectly sums up how I feel about this picture...


Since the 2018 USSF AGM the NWSL has now LOST some of the little strength within the Professional Council it had. Previously the NWSL and USL both had 3 votes each.


Thanks to Anthony DiCicco's awesome "Who the Hell Votes in the USSF Presidential Election" article he spent quite a bit of time researching/writing we know this...

Then finally, the Pro Council, Bylaw 314, Section 2, Subpart 3 requires the Pro Council in even years to designate the number of delegates from the Professional Council to the National Council.
This is how it’s written in Bylaw 302.
(3) In the Professional Council, the number of delegates for each Professional League shall be based on the level of competitive division among the Professional Leagues.
(b) If the members of the Council are unable to reach agreement on the number of delegates under subsection (a) of this section, the Board shall determine the number.
“Shall be based on the level of competitive division” — 

Jeff Carlisle reported that the USSF Board of Directors approved of this and passed this massively disproportionate distribution of power to the men's league at the expense of the women's league.

"In one of two long-awaited decisions made at a meeting on Sunday, the USSF Board of Directors passed a proposal regarding the allocation of delegates within the Professional Council, sources said, a move which will have a direct impact on the Feb. 10 election for U.S. Soccer president."

Why nobody on the Board of Directors thought that saying that the men's 1st division should have 300% of the voting strength of the women's 1st division was wrong... just blows my mind.

We need reform in how soccer in the United States if governed... a few days ago I told the story of how our coaches are disenfranchised and how our active duty military players are disenfranchised... how they are not allowed to choose who represents them...

Now here we are discussing the fact that the men are given 3x's the political power within the Federation that the women are...

I just cant get over the fact that it appears that nobody thought to say anything?

I guess we will never know because according to the USSF Board Meeting minutes...

PROFESSIONAL COUNCIL VOTING DISTRIBUTION Mr. Gulati and Greg Fike provided background on the Professional Council voting distribution. Don Garber addressed the Board regarding the Pro Council proposed distribution. Rishi Sehgal addressed the Board regarding NASL’s proposal for distribution.

(At this point, the Board went back into an executive session. The minutes for that session are contained in a separate document.)

Yep, you guessed it... it went in to executive session after Don Garber addressed the board saying this is the distribution that the MLS wanted... I mean that the Pro Council wanted.

Stand up for the game. Stand up for the people in the game. ALL of the people in the game.

#ReformUSSF
#ProRelForUSA 







Monday, February 25, 2019

Did the USSF get our $5,000,000 worth?




I haven't been able to stop thinking about something that United States Soccer Federation COO Jay Berhalter told me at the USSF AGM in Scottsdale Arizona.

During the Budget Q&A session the conversation moved from something to the Coaching Education program. A representative from Mississippi Youth Soccer asked a great question about a program to allow the in person Grassroots License Courses to not require a $25 kick back to the Federation... she made the point that these courses in Mississippi and other rural states are oftentimes the only way to give education to parent coaches in small communities and having the course cost the state $25 per coach made it almost impossible to cover the entire cost of them.

She said their state wanted to cover the cost of the course for the coaches... the instructor, the field, materials, etc... and offer it for free but with this $25 fee that has to be paid to the USSF it made it next to impossible with their small budget.

He said it was a great question that he hadn't heard before but he would consider it but it was unlikely that the USSF was going to be able to waive this $25 fee.

He went on to tell us that in addition to the $25 that the coach pays the USSF subsidizes the cost of these grassroots courses at a rate of $12 per class.

This struck me as very odd. I asked him how they can put a price point on this subsidy since a fixed cost for the website, creation of the content, etc will be made back or reduced as more people take the courses and they receive a $25 payment for every iteration of the course (even the online ones).

Jay Berhalter then proceeded to let us know that 144,000 Grassroots courses have been completed online and in person.


If we do the simple math of... 

       144,000 classes
X    $37 per class
_______________
       $ 5,328,000

He said that it is impossible to assign as exact price for the subsidy but this is a snapshot of what it looks like right now since they have to constantly update the website and create new content.

So using this simple math and what Jay Berhalter told us during the USSF AGM....

We have spent over $5 million dollars creating the USSF Grassroots Courses and making a website for the online courses.

$5,000,000 plus dollars.

Do you think this money has delivered the kind of course/licensing program that we deserve for over $5,000,000?

I almost forgot... they announced at the AGM that



So really, we are at almost $6,000,000 to develop and administer this ONLINE course. The Federation doesn't deliver ANY of these courses. The state associations and affiliate members bear the brunt of that cost. The only cost the Federation has had on the Grassroots Courses has been the development and website costs.

I also asked for results of the post course survey results to see if those who completed them found them useful or not... he gave me his email address and told me to email him... I did on the spot. He did not send me the survey results.

So I can't let you know if people have found them helpful or not.

Basically, $6,000,000 of our Federation and FIFA's money made these... we just have to trust them that they are doing their job. 

#ReformUSSF
#ProRelForUSA 

P.S.

One other thing that Jay Berhalter told us was that the USSF Pro License costs the Federation $22,000 PER COACH to put on.

So the first course they put on cost 286k for 13 coaches. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Disenfranchisement at the USSF AGM


The absolute last thing I expected to see at the 2019 USSF AGM was the disenfranchisement of soccer coaches and military members.... but that is exactly what we all saw.

Let's take it back a just one step. Just a few minutes earlier a by-law change was passed that gave the Athlete Council 4 year terms instead of 2 year terms and allowed members of the Athlete Council to complete their terms even after their time when eligible to participate had ended.



The first item of business that the newly empowered Athlete Council did was the move to continue the disenfranchisement of the United Soccer Coaches and the 50,000 military members playing on 800 bases world wide.

That is EXACTLY what Chris Aherns moved to do... continue the disenfranchisement of over 80,000 coaches and active duty military members.

Currently these coaches and military members are represented by an At Large member of the USSF board but they are not allowed to vote on who represents them. The Athlete Council moved to continue this disenfranchisement of these members of the soccer community for at least 1 more year.

Why they did this? I have no idea...

What I do know is that if the Pro Council and Athlete Council chose to vote for the disenfranchisement of the coaches and active duty military players worldwide... which it appears was what happened.... then almost the entire rest of the body of USSF voted for inclusion.








Even now... days later.

I am still pissed.

Please speak up. Please run for offices in your local club, league, and state. We need change. Radical change.

#ReformUSSF
#ProRelForUSA 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Get involved




It is that time of year again. The USSF AGM is coming up in a few days and the WVSA AGM is coming up in March. Several new candidates are running for state positions, the league I am President of has several new members on its Board, the club I am President of just added several new members to its board. The excitement, ideas, and energy among all of these new members and potential members is invigorating.

We need this everywhere... at every level... in every community... every club. New blood. New energy. New ideas. People ready to push the game forward in this country. People just like you.

I've been talking about this subject on Twitter quite a bit lately because I think this is the most important thing that we can do for soccer in this country right now. 







We have to start to change this game from the bottom up, where we can actually control things, while we also call for change at the top.

#ProRelForUSA
#ReformUSSF

Monday, January 14, 2019

We need a plan... now.



Followers of this blog and my social media account have seen me say this repeatedly. Soccer in the United States is aimlessly floating along with no plan... 10 years ago Sunil Gulati said "Maybe 10 years down the road". It has been 10 years. We still don't have a plan.



We have a multitude of issues that all need addressed if we ever hope to get to the top of the world game...





It is frustrating to sit back and watch time slip by knowing that every day we don't have a plan forward we fall further and further behind those who DO have a plan. Pushing needed reforms down the road with no concrete plan on how to get there is... well, it appears to be being done to stall and delay any actual reform efforts.

We need a plan and we need it now.

Continue to advocate for the changes that we need. All of them.

#ProRelForUSA
#ReformUSSF