Sunday, August 19, 2018
There has been quite a bit of talk about the Athlete Council ever since the US Soccer Federation election at the most recent AGM.
Daniel Workman did a GREAT job describing the council and how it works during Episode 9 of his "Soccer Works" mini-podcast series. (P.S. make sure you give him a follow and listen to all of these 2 minute long podcasts they are amazing)
To clarify some of the information about how all of this works... directly from within the Athlete Council.
The last Athlete Council election was in March 2017.
10 places were up for election as is customary as the terms are up every 2 years.
Only 11 people were nominated for the 10 spots in the March 2017 election. The only one not elected was former US Paralympic player Jason Slemmons.
Nobody is given a list of who is eligible to run... so nobody knows exactly who they can nominate. Everything about the process is emailed to the contact that they have on file... with some players still eligible to vote/nominate/be nominated being up to 10 years out of the NT picture. I would wonder how current those email addresses are? The vote was overseen by Greg Fike the staff attorney with the USSF. The vote results are not public...
There is something I've noticed that is interesting about the 10 winners...
Brian Ching - Richard Motzkin (Wasserman Group)
Brad Guzan - James Grant Sports Management Atlanta United MLS player
Lauren Holiday - Richard Motzkin (Wasserman Group)
Heather O'Reilly - Richard Motzkin (Wasserman Group)
Stu Holden - Richard Motzkin (Wasserman Group)
Jonathan Spector - SK Soccer Tours current Orlando City MLS player.
Gavin Sibayan (USA Paralympic Team appears to not be represented)
Aly Wagner (USWNT and no agent can be found online) announcer for FOX/NWSL
Lori Lindsey (USWNT and no agent can be found online) announcer for USL/NWSL
At least 40% of them are represented by the Wasserman Group. I only have 9 listed because I don't know who the 10th winner from this previous election was so really it could have been 50%. Maybe it means something... maybe it doesn't but it is interesting.
When we pair the fact that nobody has a list of who is eligible to be nominated with so many of those nominated being from one AGENT let alone agency... it is interesting.
There are always so many questions when you start to look at whats going on within the USSF when it concerns staying in power. I am definitely not accusing these players of doing anything wrong but it would just seem that every eligible player should be notified that they can nominate a player for the council and that they should be given a complete list of who they can nominate. That seems to be the VERY minimum of what the Athlete Council should be doing.
They aren't doing it.
The next Athlete Council election is in November... I wonder if this pool of what? 225 players? will all be contacted and given a list of everybody they can nominate before 11 are nominated for 10 spots... again. It would for sure keep one person or a small group of people from hand picking nominations and stacking the Athlete Council in their vision.
Keep speaking up for change.