Wednesday, July 12, 2017
If not now, when?
We all know American soccer needs to change. It seems that almost weekly the spotlight is being shown on a "new" problem (that has existed for years) somewhere in the American soccer structure/culture.
My questions is ... Why are so many people involved in American soccer scared of the deep and radical systemic change that is needed to address these issues?
Why do they keep pushing for small incremental change?
We all know that incremental change results in incremental results... Do we really want to wait "generations before we are literally playing at the level of the Premier League or Bundaliga"?
If you are fine with that... keep advocating for incremental change. For the status quo.
Unfortunately, for those of us who would like to see positive movement relatively quickly for American soccer, too many involved in the leadership of the sport, the media, and a multitude of very vocal (on social media) fans incorrectly believe that small incremental change will deliver radically different results.
Only sweeping reforms are going to deliver the kind of radically different results that all of us want to see in our lifetime.
Incremental change will never do this.
So why do these leaders, media members, and fans keep fighting against this sweeping reform?
The one thing we can stop being scared of ... that soccer as a "major" sport in the United States will go away. It is here to stay. Soccer is going to remain on TV. It is going to remain being played by millions of children and adults every week. It will remain a pro sport. It will remain in your city and town. It is not going away. We will not return to the "Dark Ages" so many are scared of.
If we change the way soccer is governed in this country. Soccer is not going away.
If we have an open and inclusive pyramid put in place. Soccer is not going away.
If clubs are paid Training Compensation and Solidarity Payments. Soccer is not going away.
If the youth soccer "travel and tournament" structure is affected by the addition of 100's of Adult clubs having academies that are free or very low cost. Soccer is not going away.
If merit starts to decide which players play in the best academies not parental wallet size. Soccer is not going away.
If the entirety of the adult amateur soccer system in the country is restructured and able to move up and down on sporting merit and is connected to the pro game. Soccer is not going away.
If billionaire owners are no longer allowed to buy new spots in the 1st Division of the sport for $150M dollars. Soccer is not going away.
We can keep going with this list of things that if they are addressed in sweeping reform all at once... none of it will kill soccer.
Right now soccer is growing at every level even while being structurally choked off all the way from the top down. What will happen to the sport when proper leadership makes the changes that we all know are needed?
The sleeping giant that is US Soccer will awaken.
Keep speaking up. Use #ProRelForUSA on all of your social media platforms when talking about any of these issues and keep the pressure on those who can make the change.