NY Times: "Toxic Culture" in US Soccer

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Unimane, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Rahbiefowlah

    Rahbiefowlah Member+

    Oct 22, 2001
    Las Vegas
    I mean...this article isn’t telling us anything we didn’t already know, and actually just confirms the inevitability of the obvious. And Glassdoor has these carbon copy negative reviews for every company. Nothing to see here IMO.
     
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  2. yurch10

    yurch10 Member+

    Feb 13, 2004
    I guess. But as myself and others have stated, they also interviewed anonymous current employees, so it's not simply a group of Glassdoor reviews. Which gives it more credence. And anything putting attention on the cause of the MNT's demise (of which I think this is a big part) is all good to me.
     
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  3. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

    May 5, 2006
    Dystopia
    I think this is the key question, and the unfortunate answer is yes.

    MLS: Humming along, adding franchises, stadiums, etc. Check.

    SUM: Making bank off of Mexican-American audiences. Check.

    WC 2026: Winning bid, creating a $150 million fed war chest. Check.

    Women's team: Success distracting from organizational failures. Check.

    Unanswered is the question that provides the subcontext for every thread in every US men's forum - from MNT to MLS (to USL to College to Youth): With millions of young boys spending countless hours playing soccer, and with their parents investing enormous sums of money, why aren't we producing more elite players?
     
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  4. ttrevett

    ttrevett Member+

    Apr 2, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Why do they only report Press, Mewis, O'Hara, and Sauerbrunn's salaries? JK made 3+M???
     
  5. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

    Jul 26, 2007
    Everybody is forgetting the greatest success for the commercial operations of USSF - the 2018 World Cup.

    Truly an unprecedented financial outcome for the USSF!
     
  6. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    i understood that the excuse for allowing nepotism here was jay was commercial and it wouldn't be berhalter over berhalter or berhalter selecting berhalter. i see this as a conflict of interest and the resolution is either greg quits or jay doesn't get the promotion. you two sort out who keeps their job (for the moment).

    bears noting that flynn's resignation plans were announced before the coaching hire was. in which case flynn hangs around long enough to have paws on this coaching decision, the excuse here is jay is commercial, but it's done with the idea jay is the annointed one. so we basically hired a two-fer. under somewhat misleading premises. if i am hiring two berhalters in the lead positions don't tell me he's only commercial.

    on a more dated complaint, it bears reminding flynn was supposed to fire klinsmann and hire arena earlier in the cycle but needed surgery. and seemingly hogged that prerogative to himself while he recouperated. as a result the decision is delayed, the hole dug deeper, and arena's 1.5 ppg ends up not enough.
     
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  7. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    it's just a workplace yelp so to speak, but if you then go talk to employees and they say the same thing as the site, then, hmm, at least a chunk of the employees believe it. basically nyt went out and corroborated it.
     
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  8. UncagedGorilla

    Sep 22, 2009
    Tulsa
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    American Samoa
    As someone who has been looking to switch fields recently and spending a lot of time on Glassdoor, I disagree. You can learn a lot about the company from the reviews. It's generally not hard to tell if it's a bitter, disgruntled employee or someone with valid complaints. For instance, I was looking at two companies recently, one had a 4.7/5 rating and the only negative reviews were pretty stupid, petty things. The other one had a 3.1/5 with a lot of five stars and a lot of one stars. All the one stars complained about most of the same things. That's how I read the USSF reviews, the negative reviews form a clear pattern of behavior that isn't hard to believe when you see the glimpses of behind the scenes stuff we've got from other sources.
     
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  9. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    "advancement inside the federation is limited by a core group of top executives who have controlled the most senior positions for a decade or more."

    that's it right there. it's a club. my focus is the soccer team and how it is impacted, but we sound more and more like some federation fiefdom any number of countries have, where the lead jobs are cushy, the leaders select each other, and whether it functions well for the actual purpose is besides the point.
     
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  10. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    exactly. there is no objective way berhalter was the obvious next coach. you could only get there by mounting a steering wheel on his application file.
     
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  11. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    #61 juvechelsea, Jun 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    that's my approach to such things. look for repeated patterns. i use reviews for equipment in my new sport. if i hear a few reviews mentioning the same fault or failure in a particular piece, if a few of us buy an item, it likely also happens to -- if not me -- someone i know. whether you can handle it, or never suffer it, different story. caveat emptor.

    when i say can handle it, some people either from experience or from disposition let certain things go that for others are across the line. you can argue that both ways. what i would take from that is, go back to the issue being discussed. if 10 people say it happens, it probably does. then ask yourself whether you'd give a sh*t, or even someone more sensitive might. that's the reality check.
     
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  12. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

    Jul 26, 2007
     
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  13. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

    Sep 7, 2008
    Sure you were, Grant. Sure you were.
     
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  14. neems

    neems Member+

    Liverpool FC
    United States
    Apr 14, 2009
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We were inches away, so it's close enough...
     
  15. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

    May 5, 2006
    Dystopia
    It took 'a perfect storm of adverse results' to keep us from Russia.
     
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  16. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

    May 5, 2006
    Dystopia
    Perhaps by 'chasing' Grant means 'helping to suppress.'
     
  17. SJTillIDie

    SJTillIDie Member+

    Aug 23, 2009
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The berhalter conflict of interest is a problem but I don't give any weight to the glassdoor anonymous online garbage troll posts. Every organization has some disgruntled people who post b*llsh*t on there. And a majority of Americans dislike their jobs. This is news?
     
  18. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    #68 adam tash, Jun 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    The disconnect between "rights" outside of work and those automatically assumed to be null and void whenever accepting employment in 2019 in the USA saddens me....I hate how much lawyers have ruined things in the USA.

    Labor rights in the USA have been so successfully eviscerated and undermined by the wealthy that the disconnect is not even questioned by the average American these days....nowadays if someone wants to keep a job they better watch every word that comes out of their mouths and not even consider being honest in public.

    Everything you say can and will be used against you (especially if it challenges the hegemonic power structure that controls you)...there's a strong argument that the US is now democratic fascism.

    The level of inequality in the USA is the worst in the developed world and only rivaled by 3rd world countries...and labor law and workplace rights have a lot do with it.....sure the "economy" is doing well...but fewer and fewer are actually able to benefit from that success...the "in-club" has consolidated their grip.

    it is weird that such an "egalitarian" country...founded on freedom and democracy and other lofty ideals has devolved into this....situations like the USSF are the norm, unfortunately....those "carbon copy" reviews you have seen are not fakes.
     
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  19. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    Fire Crown 4 Life (or until they change it again)
    Jan 9, 2004
    Soldier Field Media Deck. First Row.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    #69 CMeszt, Jun 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    Honestly Sunil and CAC have been the faces of the organization, but I think it's a safe assumption that the guys actually working at 18th and Prairie every day are far far more important.
     
  20. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    Fire Crown 4 Life (or until they change it again)
    Jan 9, 2004
    Soldier Field Media Deck. First Row.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Despite not qualifying they've managed to hold onto their sponsors and bag their biggest one in over a decade through the VW deal. I'm no MBA but I'd say on the commercial side that looks pretty good for Soccer House despite the on-field boners in qualifying.
     
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  21. Eighteen Alpha

    Eighteen Alpha Member+

    Aug 17, 2016
    Club:
    Stoke City FC
    I
    I beg to differ. I would recommend that everyone here go on Glassdoor and read the reviews themselves, then make up your mind. To me, they paint a compelling picture of a Toxic Environment that, at the very least, demonstrates a startling level of incompetence.
    I'm pretty sure there are no fair use prohibitions on social media comments, but just to be safe, I will only post some snippets from some of the comments:

    Talented people are getting crushed by this organization left and right, mainly because of being overworked, underpaid, and treated incredibly poorly by the upper management. This results in a lot of current employees doing one or two other jobs in addition to their own, with no pay increase, no overtime, no time off, no title change, and no recognition. The employees that do stay and have to deal with all of this then become so bitter and negative that it becomes infectious to other employees. The morale is so incredibly low that there aren't many people not looking for other jobs at the moment. The only people not looking for other jobs? The ones that are "in" with the self-appointed CEO, who've been hired because they are cut from the same cloth and willing to do whatever he wants. These people are virtually the only ones that will get raises, promotions, bonuses, etc. Travel is fun until you get back to back trips with a few days notice, expected to work 16+ hours days while on the road, and then no time off when you get home. The conflict between the old guard and the new employees is also a big issue. Just because you've done things a certain way for 20 years doesn't mean it's still the right way to do it. Managers/bosses are hit or miss. There are two types of managers at ussf: bad ones and good ones with "their hands tied". Even if you have one of the good managers, it is likely that the "CEO" doesn't like them and therefore won't approve any of their plans, budgets, requests, or ideas.

    Advice to Management:
    Where to even start... Most importantly, stop taking advantage of people's love for the game. Just because we love soccer so much doesn't give you the right to overwork us to the point where you make us hate it. This was my dream job. Leaving was one of the hardest decisions I had to make. But the toxic environment, paired with the terrible pay and lack of career advancement opportunities was too much. PAY YOUR EMPLOYEES. U.S Soccer is sitting on a huge pile of money but yet "can't afford" to give their employees even a 1% raise. Stop hiding behind your "non-profit" status and pay people what they deserve. You are way below the market average, even for the sports industry. HIRE PEOPLE. How can you possibly expect your employees to be happy and productive when you're just setting them up to fail? "We're going to hire more people" is the biggest lie told at USSF. In all my time there, I saw countless employees leave and only a handful getting hired full-time. Stop expecting your employees to take on an entire different role in addition to their own and just be okay with it. But nothing will change unless the leadership changes. Bring in an outside CEO. Please, just stop it with the nepotism. There are still so many hard-working, talented people in the organization that deserve so much better than this. U.S. Soccer has so much potential to be a fantastic organization, but change needs to happen

    --------------------------------------

    Move on and allow a capable, inspiring leader to look at the organization with a fresh perspective. Understand that Soccer will never become the Preeminent Sport in this country when the Federation isn't even close to realizing its own potential.
    --------------------------------------

    Wow...where to start! Want to know the recipe for a poor work culture...look no further than what the Defecto [sic] CEO, Jay Berhalter has cooked up at U.S. Soccer. It seems a lot of people are coming out now to discuss the changes that need to be made at the Federation, and that's because so much is on the line and people are actually listening. I'll start with Jay and move on to a few other items that make this a difficult, sometimes toxic environment to work. Jay is BY FAR one of the most unapproachable people I have ever met; not understanding what it takes to be a good leader. He has a special way of instilling fear at Soccer House, while belittling those who get up the courage to push him into a decision. During my time, we had a number of initiatives that we couldn't get answers on because Jay wouldn't trust the people he hired to make the correct decision.

    ---------------------------------------------

    After being there two years, we decided to do a company outing and break out into groups to see what will help the organization, after the groups met, one person was sent to present the groups decisions. Every single group stated that the lack of communication between departments is a problem, so clearly everyone was onto something, and feeling like something had been accomplished. The CEO then proceeded to take the stage and say something along the lines of, I'm sad to hear no one mentioned the NWSL league and its success, winning a world cup, oh, and the communication thing is bull****. Meeting deflated, everything that was productive shot down by the person we are supposed to follow behind. How do you follow someone who will not take opinions into consideration from his own staff.

    -----------------------------------

    Hopeful all these recent reviews are somehow getting back to the right people. Only reason it’s happening is because current and former employees know a new CEO is about to be selected and this is the only way to have a voice heard because they haven’t had a voice inside the office for years. We all know that if the next CEO comes from within (more specifically, the MNT head coach's brother), the toxic culture will never change. You have an opportunity here to change the culture at Soccer House 6-7 years ahead of 2026 where your CEO and staff will be put in the world (and the U.S.) spotlight stronger than ever before. Do the right thing. This hire could change the perception of USSF leadership to the entire soccer community. Prepare yourselves for a mass exodus after the Women's World Cup. Holding 2026 over their heads isn't working anymore. Staff need action now. Whats the over/under on lawsuits in 2020? Make a serious change, not an undeserved, nepotistic promotion.

    I'll stop now unless someone clamors for more.
     
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  22. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    Fire Crown 4 Life (or until they change it again)
    Jan 9, 2004
    Soldier Field Media Deck. First Row.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    I want them to hire Garber, just to watch this place melt down.
     
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  23. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    Fire Crown 4 Life (or until they change it again)
    Jan 9, 2004
    Soldier Field Media Deck. First Row.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Sounds like my last academic medicine gig. Woof.
     
  24. Eighteen Alpha

    Eighteen Alpha Member+

    Aug 17, 2016
    Club:
    Stoke City FC
    Nothing to see here folks; move along.
     
  25. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

    May 5, 2006
    Dystopia
    That's not sic - that's sick!!!
     
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