My FourFourTwo piece from yesterday gave a multi-part plan for rescuing youth soccer from the pit of despair or some other dreary place of your choosing, and it features input from Kyle Martino, Kevin Payne and two U.S. Soccer officials.
“Promote a more unified Youth Soccer landscape where our members—rather than fighting each other for players—work together to bring more young people into our ranks as registered players and where we focus on Youth Soccer less as a business and more as a way to develop talent on the field and nurture our next generation of young adults.”
So read the platform of Carlos Cordeiro in his successful campaign for the U.S. Soccer presidency.
Cordeiro has spent the first four months of his presidency traveling the world on behalf of the ultimately successful USA/Canada/Mexico World Cup bid. In the meantime, youth soccer has progressed from a moderate level of chaos to a full-fledged tropical storm mixed with a Nor’easter mixed with Memorial Day beach traffic.
This piece had a long gestation period, but the timing is good. The World Cup bid effort is finished. Now it’s time for Cordeiro to look at the rest of his agenda. His platform has plenty of ideas that look good on paper — I didn’t recall any other candidates arguing against diversity, stronger adult leagues, etc. — but will require some effort to translate into reality.
But with all due respect to the other issues on that platform, youth soccer needs to be his first priority. (The transparency/diversity issues should be addressed concurrently, and other issues certainly shouldn’t be forgotten. Hopefully we can drop the nonsensical idea that Cordeiro’s next priority needs to be rescuing the NASL. We have a functioning Division 1 league and a functioning Division 2 league. If Cordeiro is going to devote a second of his time to any pro league in the next two years, it should be the NWSL. Period.)
One of my goals here is to keep asking questions and providing analysis. The outlets through which I can do so are dwindling. This sort of thing is a little too esoteric for The Athletic — and besides, I need to reach parents.
So I’m going to be working hard over the next few months to build Ranting Soccer Dad into a substantial brand. You can help on Patreon if you like (I’m going to make magnets and T-shirts!), but anything you can do to share my work would be appreciated. Especially if you can share it with parents. Maybe not parents who sit and watch every World Cup game like you do, but any parents looking for a good youth soccer experience.
At some point soon, I need to write about the next contested election. U.S. Youth Soccer holds its Annual General Meeting on July 28, and I know of at least one challenger to incumbent chairman (and USSF Board member) Jesse Harrell.