Is anyone in charge?

Hawkeye

BRONZE
Who is running the DA these days? Jared Micklos, who ran boys and girls DA, left in August. Miriam Hickey, who was the girls DA director, is now (and apparently has been for some time) the manager of club development, whatever that means. Yet, US Soccer’s web site lists no job openings relating to the DA and no contact info for anyone who may be running the operation.

Is there anyone at US Soccer responsible for trying to bring some sensible order to the youth soccer landscape, make peace with ecnl, and either grow the girls development academy in some focused and sustainable way? If the da clubs all wanted, for instance, to change the high school rule, who would even decide whether that decision makes sense at this point?
 
Who is running the DA these days? Jared Micklos, who ran boys and girls DA, left in August. Miriam Hickey, who was the girls DA director, is now (and apparently has been for some time) the manager of club development, whatever that means. Yet, US Soccer’s web site lists no job openings relating to the DA and no contact info for anyone who may be running the operation.

Is there anyone at US Soccer responsible for trying to bring some sensible order to the youth soccer landscape, make peace with ecnl, and either grow the girls development academy in some focused and sustainable way? If the da clubs all wanted, for instance, to change the high school rule, who would even decide whether that decision makes sense at this point?
I have had this email planned for USSF and DA but I don't know who to send it to. So I think I might just cc all of you as well. It's questions I had for my dd old Doc in 2017 that he said he would look into for me but never got back to me. I do feel bad for ALL the parents and players. We all have been impacted by decisions that have caused great harm to our game. I was told by some hire ups to keep my mouth shut and pay along but I don't like playing that game.
I read this article today
 

Hawkeye

BRONZE
This article in Equalizer is pretty incredible. No one from US soccer even willing to respond to people like Paul Riley, Rory Dames, Charlie Naimo and Huw Williams crying out for the need to get rid of all of GDA’s dumb rules and make peace with ECNL, and it’s literally impossible to figure out who if anyone is responsible for managing the program these days.

 

outside!

PREMIER
This article in Equalizer is pretty incredible. No one from US soccer even willing to respond to people like Paul Riley, Rory Dames, Charlie Naimo and Huw Williams crying out for the need to get rid of all of GDA’s dumb rules and make peace with ECNL, and it’s literally impossible to figure out who if anyone is responsible for managing the program these days.

Note that the article is behind the pay wall. The real problem is that there should not be closed leagues since it gives a monopoly to a few clubs and there is no way for the free enterprise system to eliminate corruption and poor coaching.
 
Soccer America Confidential: U.S. Soccer in transition: A thank-you to Glassdoor, and move into the 21st century
U.S. Soccer House, U.S. Soccer's headquarters since 1991, is actually two houses, both mansions.

The Kimball house and the adjacent Coleman-Ames house are located on Prairie Avenue, on what used to be Chicago's millionaires row, home to the great industrialists of the late 19th century.

U.S. Soccer moved into the Kimball house from its headquarters in Colorado Springs in December 1991 as it ramped up for the 1994 World Cup under then-CEO Hank Steinbrecher, who lived in Chicago suburb Glen Ellyn.

My first visit to the Kimball house was in early 1993 during the U.S. Soccer Summit the federation hosted in Chicago. All I remembered was that there was junk piled high in the lobby.

The lobby looked the pretty much the same when I visited the Kimball house in early December, nothing fancy. Only this time, the junk was gone. In its place was a giant Kimball piano. (The Kimball house's first owner was William Wallace Kimball, founder of Kimball pianos and organs.)

I had been told the conditions at Soccer House were so crowded that staff without cubicles sometimes sat down on the stairs, pulled out their laptops and worked from there. On a tour of the two connecting houses, separating the business and soccer sides of the organization, I didn't find anyone working on the stairs, but all the renovations going on underscored the effort to relieve the crowded conditions.

U.S. Soccer's workplace issues received national attention when just before the 2019 Women's World Cup a small number of reviews were posted on the employment networking site Glassdoor.

The reviews told a story common to those with strong opinions about their current or former employer on topics such as pay, hours, work space and communication. The negative U.S. Soccer reviews referred to working at the federation as a "dream job" -- a chance to work in American soccer at the highest level -- but addressed grievances directed at upper management in great detail about what several termed a "toxic" culture. (my dd had the same dream to represent US Soccer some day)

A current employee confirmed to Soccer America that the reviews, which picked up right after Memorial Day, had been a topic of conversation among staff around Soccer House for several weeks and "reflect the general feelings of most of the staff."

U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro dismissed the notion that the federation's working environment was "toxic" but he did say the Glassdoor reviews were a wake-up call.

Cordeiro's characterization of the reviews came after a presentation to U.S. Soccer's board of directors on Dec. 6 during which a good portion of the three-hour session was spent addressing workplace issues.

Brian Remedi, appointed the chief administrative officer in September while the search for a permanent replacement for retired CEO Dan Flynn goes on, updated the board on the hiring of a commercial real-estate firm to help the federation evaluate its need for and find new workspace.

But the star of the afternoon was U.S. Soccer's chief talent & inclusion officer, Tonya Wallach. As the HR chief, she outlined measures being adopted -- "modern work policies" was the title to the power-point presentation -- to cover the federation's growing staff.

They followed an engagement survey on workplace conditions -- a direct result of the Glassdoor reviews -- and 10 focus groups held in November to review the results of the survey and steps being taken to address issues related to communication, the management of the staff and the physical workspace.

Communication included how management informs staff, both formally in writing, and at all-staff meetings. Managing staff included revising work policies regarding work days, comp time and dress codes and developing a merit-based system that promotes the best ideas through goal-setting, appraisals and pay rewards.

"A merit-based organization is one where the best people and the best ideas win," said Wallach, "where all employees have a chance of succeeding and equal chance at the rewards available at the organization. That requires minimizing the effect that biases have, both conscious and unconscious. The way we do that is by establishing processes."

The challenges U.S. Soccer has faced are not unusual for a growing organization. Cordeiro said there were 50 employees when he joined the board of directors in 2007 as the first independent director. The latest head count put the federation's full-time staff at 172 -- 64 in sports performance (national teams), 37 in sports development, 39 in corporate functions and 32 in commercial.

"Ironically, it took Glassdoor to wake us up to the fact that our workspace was inadequate," said Cordeiro. "Of course, we knew that, but we merrily went and won world championships or another, forgetting that we had some great staff coming to work every day. There was no place to have lunch. No coffee room. The dining room doubles as a board room."

But the federation's issues went beyond just the distractions of winning back-to-back Women's World Cups in 2015 and 2019. U.S. Soccer was overwhelmed by a host of off-the-field issues, its management of the 2016 Copa Centenario following the indictment of the tournament's Conmebol and Concacaf organizers in 2015, the fallout from the USA's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, including the decision of Sunil Gulati, president since 2006, not to seek re-election, and multiple lawsuits, complex, highly publicized and costly, filed against it in the last two years.

Cordeiro said the federation is very focused on changing.

"You heard this story of lack of communication," he said. "That tells me the organization needs more formalized communication mechanisms so staff knows what is going on. I come out of a place like Goldman Sachs, where every day there is a memo from management about who's leaving, who's coming, what's going on. That wasn't happening. That was happening by word of mouth. (oh really)

"Formalizing communication is one thing. Soccer House is another thing. It's a lovely old house (the same house the mob had meetings in), but it is not the most conducive to meeting. We don't have meeting rooms. We're taking rooms and cutting them into four and putting dividers up because we're running out of space."

The engagement survey conducted by the Leadership Research Institute was just a more formalized version of the Glassdoor reviews, and "some pretty telling stories came out of this," said Cordeiro.

"All the stuff Tonya talked about," he said. "Self-appraisals. My god, how can you not? Well, we didn't have self-appraisals. We didn't have formalized reviews. It is a little bit taking the federation into the 21st century and making it a little bit more corporate-like, recognizing employees are decent people. They need to be looked after. (I feel better already). And they're not easily replaceable. You lose a valuable employee -- it takes years to rebuild all that. I thank Glassdoor, and I thank those who wrote, because it did provide us with a wake-up call. But I wouldn't take it to the other extreme and say this place is burning down." (OK, don't burn it down but let's move out of there and look to SoCal. Great Park has some extra office space)

This place is creepy to say the least. I heard the mob had these homes back in the day. They want coaches to move there and live there. No joke! Horrible work conditions just like the "playing conditions" for little girls 13 and 14 years old. They sell us Training Center and YNT but really for 99.5% of us it's a college deal. They sell us fulltime Soccer, 11 months/5 days a week, that costs and arm and a leg and no other outside sports. I was 100% told 3 years ago that all the Girls DA Clubs would be fully funded for their top teams just like the boys. That's one reason I took the full ride early. I was told by the Doc at the time and others that the "Blues Way is the Wrong Way" and just one big recruiting machine and not supported by US Soccer. The cost is about $200,000 a year per team x 4= $1,000,000 a year to FULLY FUND all the teams. How does a club like SoCal Blues survive? How about SDSC when they develop their players and then when girls turn 10 their gone for good to the DA? I only see 4 clubs in SoCal who could pull off fully funded but I only see one so far. No ONE is guarding the mice back at headquarters. No wonder it was so easy to trick me and my dd and other parents. No one knows what is going on. Someone else has the KEYS to soccer? Who is DRIVING THE CAR? This is scary folks. NO ONE IS IN CHARGE. Help, someone, please help us all!!!!!
 
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Hawkeye

BRONZE
If someone can post the full story that would be great...
here’s most of it. There’s a 1000 word limit on posts;

Several of the most prominent youth and professional coaches in the country are trying to sound an alarm about the state of girls’ soccer in the United States, and a youth landscape which they describe as “dire” and “broken.”
At the top of their list of complaints is U.S. Soccer and, in their eyes, the federation’s attempt to take over the youth game in America.
Back in 2009, 40 of the top girls’ clubs in the U.S. formed the ECNL, which stands for Elite Clubs National League. Their purpose was simple, to bring together the country’s most elite clubs and pit them against each other in one combined competition.
Then, in 2017, U.S. Soccer launched the Girls’ Development Academy, which was modeled on the federation’s boys’ academy first started in 2007.
The move by U.S. Soccer split the youth landscape in two, with some top teams moving to the DA and others staying in the ECNL. The end result, according to these coaches, has been a lower level of competition in both leagues and a weakening of the youth game across the United States.
“It’s in complete shambles,” said Paul Riley, head coach of the National Women’s Soccer League’s North Carolina Courage and the director of coaching for Long Island-based youth outfit Albertson Soccer Club — which has teams in both the ECNL and the DA.
“I don’t understand the whole DA thing,” he told The Equalizer. “I was excited when [U.S. Soccer] said they were going to do the DA. I thought at the time the ECNL had lost their elite status and they started bringing in [too many] clubs and once you dilute it, you dilute the player pool. And when you dilute the player pool, you dilute the quality of the practices. When you take away that, then the quality of the games is not as high.”
But Riley explained that despite his initial hopefulness, the DA actually ended up making the problem worse. While some of the top clubs entered the DA, many stayed in the ECNL — wanting to avoid what he and others see as an excess of regulation from U.S. Soccer. Girls DA director Miriam Hickey said in 2017 that the launch of the DA “simplifies the landscape.” But now, instead of one top competition, there are two “elite” platforms operating side-by-side.
Charlie Naimo — who has worked for two decades in the youth ranks and in the pro game as a technical adviser for the Western New York Flash, the Chicago Red Stars, and North Carolina, and won multiple championships coaching in the now-defunct USL W-League — agrees.
“Why did U.S. Soccer have to do a DA?” asked Naimo. “There was absolutely no need to create another layer. That was, ‘The men have it, so the women have to have it,’ even if it hurts the women. It wasn’t well thought out, it wasn’t rolled out properly, and right away you split the talent pool down the middle.
“The biggest reason, in my opinion, why the [U.S.] youth national teams don’t excel at all anymore is not because we don’t have great players or because the clubs aren’t developing players anymore. It’s because the platform is so segmented.”
U.S. Soccer did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the subject.
Rory Dames — who has led the Red Stars to five straight playoff appearances in the NWSL and runs the highly successful youth club, Eclipse Select — also believes the addition of the DA weakened the level of competition and has made it tougher to develop truly elite players.
“The DA was supposed to be for the top five percent — the players who could realistically one day represent the country on a national stage,” Dames said. “Then Chicago should have had one DA and all the best players should’ve been siphoned to that DA because the way you make players is to get good players together and create a culture and an environment.”
But that’s not what happened, according to Dames.
“There were three DAs the first year in Chicago at four different ages,” he added. “There’s no way that there were 80 U-14 kids, 80 U-15 kids, 80 U-16-17s, and 80 U-18-19 kids in this area that are good enough to represent their country one day. It’s just not realistic. It’s just not.”
“What [they] basically did is recreate the ECNL.”
Riley explained that the exact same thing happened in the New York area.
“We’ve got three ECNL clubs and two DA clubs on Long Island,” he said. “There’s room for literally one club on Long Island. [It’s] a perfect example of dilution.”


Riley and Dames have experience coaching in both the DA and ECNL and both believe that U.S. Soccer has created a series of rules that make playing in the DA unpalatable for many of the country’s top club teams.
“I’m amazed they call it the Development Academy because all they talk about is, ‘Do you have a psychologist, do you have a nutritionist, do you have a trainer on the weekends, do you have a video of the game, do you have X, Y, Z?’ They just go on and on with all these rules,” said Riley.
“They do a routine every year; they ask you for all your thoughts on all these things. Do you have this, do you have that? And I’m looking down the list of things and not one question in the 14 questions — and they’re detailed questions — was about player development. Not one question.”
“They’re more worried about if you’re breaking the rules or not,” he later added. “That’s what they’re more worried about. They’re not actually worried about the player development part of it. And that’s a shame.”
Dames calls the DA’s rules “mechanisms for control” and thinks they came about as a result of former U.S. technical director April Heinrichs wanting authority over the American youth system.
“I believe the reason the DA came on the girls’ side was because April Heinrichs and the people who she had on her side on the U.S. youth staff wanted more control of what the kids were doing,” he said. “And in order to get control of that they had to get control of the clubs.”
Heinrichs, who stepped down from her role at the end of 2018, could not be reached for comment. In 2016, she touted U.S. Soccer resources as one reason the DA would be superior, noting that it would be the preferred path to Division I soccer (over the established ECNL).

Among other restrictions imposed on DA clubs, players themselves are prohibited from participating in high school soccer, college ID camps, the ODP (Olympic Development Program), and other outside activities. Coaches think those restrictions are a big part of what’s weakening the club landscape and splitting it in two.
“Kids have to [be able to] play high school soccer if they want to,” argues Naimo. “If the biggest reason why they’re leaving our league is because they want to play high school soccer, you’ve got to change it. The only way to have the best team, the best league, is to have the best players.
“We have to get out of this false mindset that, ‘I’ll just take whoever I get and we’ll put a developmental plan together and we’ll turn them into the best players in the country.’ That’s not the way it works, unfortunately. It’s just not. The best players need to be playing in the best leagues. The best league is going to be determined by where all the better players are — period. Right now, it’s split down the middle, so neither league can call themselves the best, in my opinion.”
Riley agrees that the prohibition on high school soccer is helping cause the division in talent in the youth player pool.
“We lost a lot of top kids that wanted to play high school,” said Riley. “So now, our top team is diluted. I look at the players and I think, for those seven weeks, does it really matter that much? I get it. For sure, the training is better where we are than the high school [team]. I get it. There’s no question about that in my mind. But what do you lose by letting the player leave the club and not play with the top players?”
“To me it makes no sense,” he added. “Maybe if we give a little bit, we can get more by getting these players back together.”
Huw Williams — who has worked in the youth game for decades in the Kansas City area and was the general manager and assistant coach of the FCK Kansas City team that won two NWSL championships — disagrees with the idea that the U.S. youth landscape is broken. He thinks that the youth game today offers players and coaches more opportunities than it did in the past. However, Williams does see a problem with the DA’s prohibition on high school soccer. Most of his top players wanted to play for their high schools, which made the ECNL a better fit for his club.
“I think [the DA] is a great league,” said Williams. “It just wasn’t the right league for us and our players where we’re at today. I don’t know if not having high school youth soccer is the right thing for this culture.”


Dames also believes that the fragmentation of the youth game — where U.S. Soccer is running one league and independent clubs another — has caused the federation to favor the DA when selecting youth national teams. He thinks that has helped cause those teams to be less competitive than they were in the past.
“U.S. Soccer has a league and they put a lot of their resources both financially and time-wise into that league. So their scouts go to that league; they pick their teams out of that league,” he said.
 

Hawkeye

BRONZE
Here’s the rest of the article:


You have a federation who’s trying to promote its own league because it’s in competition with an opposing league and it’s using all of its platforms and resources to do so to the extent that they’re excluding players that are not in the DA who should be in the youth national team camps.”
“They shouldn’t be competing against the other members that run leagues within their federation — that’s just crazy when you say that out loud,” Dames later added.
Results at the youth national team level suggest problems which predate the DA and which have continued since its inception. The U.S. finished runners-up in the inaugural U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008 and have since been bounced in the group stage three times and twice failed to qualify out of Concacaf. The U.S. last won the U-20 World Cup in 2012, most recently falling in the group stage in the 2018 edition. However, with the Girls’ DA only launching in August 2017, any direct impact on youth national team results remains unknown.
The U.S. won the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, suggesting these issues aren’t a problem for the senior national team. But Riley thinks that impact could hit the U.S. women’s national team in the next few years.
“It might not be Vlatko [Andonovski]’s problem, but the next coach after Vlatko, it could well be their problem,” he said. “We have the player pool for the next four to six years. This generation — we’ll be fine and we’ll win things and we’ll probably win everything again. But that next generation, where’s it coming from? Because this is the DA’s platform now and they’ve done nothing.”
 
How in the heck did we wind up with our national federation being headquartered in a 20,000 square foot house along Lake Michigan? And how have we grown from 70 employees to nearly 200 and not thought about real estate options until just recently?
I could see these things being issues if things were being run by people who only have a soccer background. And if they were truly putting the soccer side of things first, you could see how the business side of things might be a little messy.
But Carlos and Sunil were businessmen first. At the top level of an organization, your main responsibilities are:
Culture (Which includes working conditions)
Cash Flow
Human Resources (do you have the right people working in the right positions to carry out your plans).

The fact that it took a glassdoor story and independent consultants/focus groups to sound the alarm is really scary..
 

outside!

PREMIER
How in the heck did we wind up with our national federation being headquartered in a 20,000 square foot house along Lake Michigan?
Because the Chicago area is obviously the best place to be located in order to be near the majority of US soccer players.
 
Because the Chicago area is obviously the best place to be located in order to be near the majority of US soccer players.
We should put our downhill skiing federation in Oklahoma.
Im sure there are plenty of nice soccer fields in the Chicago area. But it sure would make sense to have our federation have an office with a field nearby. Could they get office space near where the Chicago Fire play?
I doubt the NFL HQ has a football field in their complex. Or the NBA with a basketball court.
But those organizations aren’t responsible for recruiting and training national teams. Or for educating coaches.
 

outside!

PREMIER
We should put our downhill skiing federation in Oklahoma.
Im sure there are plenty of nice soccer fields in the Chicago area. But it sure would make sense to have our federation have an office with a field nearby. Could they get office space near where the Chicago Fire play?
I doubt the NFL HQ has a football field in their complex. Or the NBA with a basketball court.
But those organizations aren’t responsible for recruiting and training national teams. Or for educating coaches.
I bet the property in Chicago is worth a decent amount of money. They could move to somewhere with better weather and access to fields. Unfortunately California is probably too expensive, but then again, with all the crooked FIFA cash floating about, maybe not.
 
Isn't our National Training Center in Kansas City?

WHAT IT IS
Providing a permanent, national home for the education of coaches and referees, the NDC also houses the Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center and is the training home of Sporting Kansas City. Spanning 50.49 acres, the site’s foundation is its 81,100 square foot education and medical center, which is surrounded by three full size natural grass fields, two synthetic, lighted fields for coaching and referee development and a two-story coaching pavilion between fields for observation. The project first broke ground in July 2016 and cost $75 million to build.

A PERMANENT HOME FOR U.S. SOCCER COACHING EDUCATION
Located along the north side of the NDC, the U.S. Soccer Coaching Education Center provides a world-class environment designed to maximize the development of coaches. With full-time administrative and technical staff, two locker rooms, four classrooms with operable walls, six breakout rooms, all-day cafeteria access, two full-size, synthetic turf fields with LED sports lighting, and a two-story coaching pavilion, the NDC will host more than its fair share of U.S. Soccer coaching courses over the coming years.
 
Here’s the rest of the article:


You have a federation who’s trying to promote its own league because it’s in competition with an opposing league and it’s using all of its platforms and resources to do so to the extent that they’re excluding players that are not in the DA who should be in the youth national team camps.”
“They shouldn’t be competing against the other members that run leagues within their federation — that’s just crazy when you say that out loud,” Dames later added.
Results at the youth national team level suggest problems which predate the DA and which have continued since its inception. The U.S. finished runners-up in the inaugural U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008 and have since been bounced in the group stage three times and twice failed to qualify out of Concacaf. The U.S. last won the U-20 World Cup in 2012, most recently falling in the group stage in the 2018 edition. However, with the Girls’ DA only launching in August 2017, any direct impact on youth national team results remains unknown.
The U.S. won the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, suggesting these issues aren’t a problem for the senior national team. But Riley thinks that impact could hit the U.S. women’s national team in the next few years.
“It might not be Vlatko [Andonovski]’s problem, but the next coach after Vlatko, it could well be their problem,” he said. “We have the player pool for the next four to six years. This generation — we’ll be fine and we’ll win things and we’ll probably win everything again. But that next generation, where’s it coming from? Because this is the DA’s platform now and they’ve done nothing.”
Thanks for posting...that was a fascinating and eye opening read for sure. Doesn't this all come down to control and $$$$$ as do most things in life? Even if it's to the detriment of the end result or product?
 

El Clasico

SILVER ELITE
Here’s the rest of the article:


You have a federation who’s trying to promote its own league because it’s in competition with an opposing league and it’s using all of its platforms and resources to do so to the extent that they’re excluding players that are not in the DA who should be in the youth national team camps.”
“They shouldn’t be competing against the other members that run leagues within their federation — that’s just crazy when you say that out loud,” Dames later added.
Results at the youth national team level suggest problems which predate the DA and which have continued since its inception. The U.S. finished runners-up in the inaugural U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008 and have since been bounced in the group stage three times and twice failed to qualify out of Concacaf. The U.S. last won the U-20 World Cup in 2012, most recently falling in the group stage in the 2018 edition. However, with the Girls’ DA only launching in August 2017, any direct impact on youth national team results remains unknown.
The U.S. won the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, suggesting these issues aren’t a problem for the senior national team. But Riley thinks that impact could hit the U.S. women’s national team in the next few years.
“It might not be Vlatko [Andonovski]’s problem, but the next coach after Vlatko, it could well be their problem,” he said. “We have the player pool for the next four to six years. This generation — we’ll be fine and we’ll win things and we’ll probably win everything again. But that next generation, where’s it coming from? Because this is the DA’s platform now and they’ve done nothing.”
Who thinks it is a coincidence that that is when the USSF got into the youth soccer business to begin with on the boys side. That is where you see just how tragic their DA project has become. It will take a decade or more to turn it around but that won't stop people from lining up their kids to be a part of this social experiment.
 

dad4

SILVER ELITE
Location depends a little on whether you are trying to be close to teams, or close to potential sponsors and publicity contacts.

Chicago probably works just fine for the latter.
 

Dubs

SILVER ELITE
None of this should be surprising to anyone. All these questions were being asked when they launched the DA and none were answered. We know this was about the need to control the club landscape which is impossible to do. Development is all still being done at the club level and varies widely between club philosophies whether you're playing in DA or ECNL. The whole thing is a sham and has done nothing but (like the article says) dilute the player pool and limit YNT opportunities for those girls playing in ECNL. Total joke and where his Heinricks now? This was her idea!!
 
COMMENTARY
The Time it Takes: Beau Dure's 'Reality Check' delivers a provocative and balanced primer to soccer's story in the USA
Why the U.S. Men Will Never Win the World Cup: A Historical and Cultural Reality Check by Beau Dure, (Rowman & Littlefield)

Some hightlights from the lastest SA article. Compare Soccer America and SoccerToday and read the difference.

American soccer today is a multi-billion dollar sports market and culture, still emerging – tens of millions have grown up playing.

Many grievances are trending today, advanced in takes plausibly predicated on discernible evidence. The men’s national team’s failure to qualify for Russia 2018, for instance, is supposed to mean we can no longer ignore signals flashing ‘something’s rotten in the state of American soccer.’ The game’s cost, uneven access, frequently poor experience, and just OK quality rightly claim attention, while the absence of clear and obvious solutions leave many of the game’s most devoted people in despair for our situation.

As 2020 dawns, most soccer pundits openly suggest the sport’s national leaders and organizations are incompetent, corrupt, or both, and we’re witnessing a converging media campaign to compel a confrontation or at least more considered communication about these and other key concerns
.

And then there are soccer’s angry Americans, most virulently risible and visible on social media (Socal Soccer Forum, Yay!!!) their emotional investment seems now to tilt much soccer writing and podcasting toward a viral ecology bizarrely resistant to practices informed by and generating healthy culture. What to make of this ideology distilling into dogma?
 
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