By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
  1. Dan Loney

    Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 10, 2000
    Cincilluminati
    Club:
    Los Angeles Sol
    Nat'l Team:
    Philippines
    #1 Dan Loney, Feb 9, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018

    USSF Election - Spare Change

    By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
    Hope Solo has made at least two interesting points in her complaint to the US Olympic Committee.

    Oh, God, that doesn’t mean I want you to support her, you chowderheads. It just means she brought up some things worth discussing.

    Topic one was the NWSL, the one entity that will probably live or die based on the actions of the winner of the USSF election.

    A hundred years ago Anschutz Entertainment Group told Women’s Professional Soccer that they would only operate the Los Angeles Sol for one year. It was a fun year, an exciting year, and a year full of great soccer and wonderful players. WPS would Athletica along until it finally magicJacked a couple years later, but I think the mortal wound was struck by AEG. Anyone was inclined to care at all realized that AEG had put in a decade and a half’s worth of effort into unprofitable men’s soccer, but wouldn’t give unprofitable women’s soccer a second season. Potential investors, a superstitious and cowardly lot, assumed good faith in AEG’s poor motivation.

    They might have been right. If men’s professional soccer took twenty years to stick a burr into the American sports collective unconscious – and that’s a middling-size if – then professional women’s club soccer is going to take at least that long. And every time a team or a league ups and goes blooey, that’s another chilling effect. Think of it as the Doomsday Clock, but in reverse. Twenty years to midnight.

    Which brings us to the Boston Breakers, who up and went blooey in a depressingly familiar way this month. I think this is worse than the Sol disaster. The Breakers ownership, specifically Michael Stoller, was pretty much the opposite of Phil Anschutz here – he had put in ten years or more worth of effort into this. That doesn’t mean making this announcement in January, after the bleedin’ draft, was helpful. If you’re going to make a public call for help, it needs to be done slightly earlier than a week before the bell tolls.

    Since the USSF has taken a point position in the preservation and growth of the NWSL – Hope is right. Sunil Gulati, Dan Flynn and the federation needed to preserve the Boston Breakers. They needed to at least do what MLS did for the original San Jose Earthquakes – that is, keep them alive for at least a season, so potential owners could see the support and decide for themselves whether it was worth investing in.

    I’m aware it didn’t work for the original Earthquakes, but the original Earthquakes were about to be thrown out of their already inadequate stadium. The Breakers could have played in small, inelegant facilities at this point. That’s sad, but Wilt Chamberlain scored a hundred points in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

    The NWSL is different, because of USSF’s patronization of it – in every sense of the word. Your last act in office, President Gulati, should not have been to sign off on the Breakers going to the Fun While It Lasted website.

    Whether any of the candidates to replace Sunil will be able to apply their expertise to the NWSL is…oh, God, the poor NWSL. The brightest potential outcome is that they are in the NFL-in-the-Great-Depression phase of their history. The likely prospects are much worse. At least Hope brought it into the conversation.

    And hell, if her solution is to siphon off SUM resources into it…that’s probably not going to work or be legal, but it shows initiative.

    The other question Hope raised is one that neither she, nor anyone else, seems to have even considered. Why is the United States Soccer Federation answerable to the United States Olympic Committee in the first place?

    Yes, I know, the Ted Stevens Act gave the USSF authority over Olympic soccer, under the USOC, by the legislative equivalent of laying on hands. But Hope raised a whole lot of non-Olympic, non-youth, non-amateur questions in her complaint. What is that to the United States Olympic Committee?

    Never mind that the United States Olympic Committee needs investigation a hell of a lot more urgently than the United States Soccer Federation.

    Fortunately, I have an answer. Good thing I’m here, huh?

    The USSF’s main purpose is to manage disputes between players, teams and leagues. Oh, and they also need to field national teams. I think we can all be grownups about this and realize that the bread is coming from the national teams. The adult national teams. The adult professional national teams.

    We’re in the middle of an election where most of the electorate represents amateurs and children. And even the pro vote is dispersed among leagues that average one US national team player every ten years or so.

    What we have are candidates who have plans for the national team pie, and are crafting platforms to appeal to people who – how can one put this delicately – have about as much relevance to the national team as Theresa May has to Parliament-Funkadelic.

    It no longer serves any useful purpose to have one organization in charge of youth soccer, amateur soccer, and professional soccer for the entire nation. Youth soccer and amateur soccer should be independent and regionalized. I’m not even sure you need a state organization for those, but anything more than that?

    Unless all of a sudden we like the idea of a giant bureaucracy micromanaging your neighborhood team, or your school’s team, or your senior team. It doesn’t accomplish anything, except padding resumes. Management of local teams should be local. If Sunil Gulati didn’t have anything useful for you at the ground level – and he really didn’t – then why in God’s name would you want to hear from people like Hope Solo?

    The other side of this coin is that right now, youth clubs and amateur leagues have more of a say in the direction of the professional national teams than fans do. They should have exactly as much – none. (Sorry, fellow fans, but you know it’s true.) The vicarious apostles of the Federation of International Football Associations should represent FIFA issues, FIFA tournaments, and FIFA concerns. The USSF - the rump USSF, the professional USSF, the USSF that deals with money and sponsors – should represent that.

    It conveniently won’t be under the shield of the Ted Stevens Act, or the United States Olympic Committee, or any of the nonsense that has made recent months so unpleasantly legalistic. No more paying, or not paying, players based on a botched reading of the Olympic mission.

    And no more hiding behind children and amateurs to avoid the contradictions between United States law and FIFA fiat. The other great abuse of power stems from the doctrine that national governments should not “interfere” with FIFA. That’s unconscionable, and thankfully the United States is big enough to draw a line. Do business in the United States, follow United States law.

    Sunil Gulati, for the most part, has wisely used US law over FIFA statutes/regulations/whims. He’s done a lot of other things wrong, that’s certainly true. We’re here to bury, not praise. But if Gulati’s replacement decides that FIFA trumps the United States, the hammer will fall, and we will certainly lose out on the World Cup.

    You know, the World Cup, that ocean of money that could secure the sport in the United States forever.

    Hope Solo didn’t bring that up, but I never said she was the PERFECT candidate, now, did I.

    At least tomorrow this will all be over, and we can go back to #SaveTheCrew. Or, more likely, silly Zlatan Ibrahimovic rumors.

    LAST MINUTE ADDITION - I never got around to mentioning this, but another thing I hate about Kyle Martino?

    Soccer
    Must
    Include
    Live
    Eels

    or WHATEVER the hell it was supposed to stand for. There's something so skin-crawling about coming up with a cutesy acronym to push your boring and/or stupid policy. What's next, the

    Uplift
    Soccer
    As
    Players
    Are
    Totally
    Radical
    In
    Outdoor
    Training

    Act?
     
?

Who should (have) win/won? Boy, was this elegantly phrased, or what?

  1. Paul

    1 vote(s)
    2.4%
  2. Carlos

    10 vote(s)
    24.4%
  3. Kyle

    4 vote(s)
    9.8%
  4. Mike

    4 vote(s)
    9.8%
  5. Eric

    5 vote(s)
    12.2%
  6. Kathy

    10 vote(s)
    24.4%
  7. Steve

    1 vote(s)
    2.4%
  8. Hope

    6 vote(s)
    14.6%

Comments

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Dan Loney, Feb 9, 2018.

    1. canammj

      canammj Member

      Aug 25, 2004
      CHINO, CA
      Club:
      Los Angeles Galaxy
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      I don't care whose idea it is, separation of these diverse groups is a possible solution to some of our organizational problems. Sure, maybe USSF stays at the top as our 'representative" to the rest of the soccer world.
      But "Professional Division" "Amateur" Division" "Youth Division" sure sounds appealing.
      Love to see others thoughts on how each division could be structured top to bottom to account for the so many different leagues & organizations running soccer in this country. Clearly defined goals for each division a must !
      But one goal all groups should have is to grow the game in the country, not just from the youngest youth player, but all the way to the national teams, both mens and women. Many people will say soccer is the next big thing, well maybe its time to get our house in order and prove it.
       
    2. MM66

      MM66 Member+

      Mar 9, 2009
      Brookline, MA
      Club:
      Real Madrid

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      Theresa May is the mothership connection.
       
      song219 repped this.
    3. Baysider

      Baysider Member+

      Jul 16, 2004
      Santa Monica
      Club:
      Los Angeles Galaxy

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      I know very little about youth soccer, but is there value in having centralized resources for coaching training, licensing and the like? Also, the DA system seems like it needs some kind of centralization to coordinate competitions, and if so, the USSF is already around.
       
    4. Bill Archer

      Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 19, 2002
      Washington, NC
      Club:
      Columbus Crew
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      Never thought I'd see the day when Dan Loney would be singing the praises of Federalism and states rights over the micromanagement of a gargantuan central dictatorship of elites.

      I would like to offer one caveat here, however: if we concede that FIFA or something similar is needed to at least try to herd the world's diverse footballing masses into a more or less generally accepted right direction, then step one has to be building a Berlin Wall between local governments and soccer governance, and lacing any gaps with landmines, barbed wire and machine gun toting thugs.

      It's not much of a threat to us here in the US where our government, be it under whichever politician you believe is either the savior of all that is good or the handmaiden of Satan, isn't likely to arrest and imprison-or just shoot - the sports officials the last administration favored.

      But that's not true everywhere, not by a long shot. In a whole bunch of places tin pot dictators who want control of everything really influence federation elections, put their children or best pals in charge of sport (when federations used toline up outside Sepp Blatter's hotel suite to collect their bag of cash after a World Cup, Uday Hussein was there in line as Libya's bagman. So was Moammar Khaddafi's son, Robert Mugabe's brother, on and on.

      While this crap is not likely to be an issue to the US, we have to keep in mind that the rule isnot there to keep Theresa May from fiddling with England's lineup; it's there to keep disreputable dictators from making out lineup cards.
       
      The Franchise repped this.
    5. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Nat'l Team:
      Philippines

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      I understand the theory, but it's a pretty poor excuse for a dictator that can't get a pliant soccer federation in. I'd be very surprised if Vladimir Putin wasn't kept extremely well-informed about the management of the World Cup, for example.

      And it seems like FIFA is more concerned about expelling Spain for investigating corruption than they are North Korea. To paraphrase one of the great philosophers of the 20th century, how many divisions does Infantino have?
       
    6. The Franchise

      The Franchise Member+

      Nov 13, 2014
      Bakersfield, CA
      Club:
      Real Salt Lake
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      It's fair to say rec league soccer teams should have very little to do with the USSF. I love that they can participate in USOC, but beyond that, what's the point? Using their money only for their own leagues and USOC participation, under local oversight is the way to go.
       
    7. kgilbert78

      kgilbert78 Member+

      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      United States
      Dec 28, 2006
      Cowlumbus, OH
      Club:
      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      I think you meant Iraq's bagman, but the point is still well taken.

      And I think you do need some kind of national federation that does work with youth soccer. There may be a number of items that should be handled or at least approved by a national organization. Coaching licenses for one. Referees licenses for another. Suspensions, when needed, on a national level so you don't have a coach or player bouncing from one state association to another.

      Rules are another issue. Sure, FIFA makes 'em. But as a player I used to have problems with Ohio refs who would referee non-scholastic games to Ohio High School standards. I lost a valid goal once on a kickoff after the rule change making it a direct free kick--and our league was supposed to be following FIFA rules. The point being is you never knew what rule book you were going to get in any given game. The NCAA also has it's own set of rules--the biggest one being substitutions (mind you, for kids and rec leagues, those changes make seanse).
       
    8. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Nat'l Team:
      Philippines

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      I got nothing against a national youth organization, or I guess a national amateur association. But having one umbrella group for all three, and having all three make decisions well outside their bailiwicks - that's what has gotten us here. And none of the candidates, least of all the Change Candidates, seemed willing to grasp that.

      I wonder how much of an issue different rules for different levels affect other sports. Apart from maybe substitutions, I don't see any soccer rule affecting play as much as, say, aluminum bats.
       
    9. kgilbert78

      kgilbert78 Member+

      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      United States
      Dec 28, 2006
      Cowlumbus, OH
      Club:
      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      Bill could probably note more about this, as he's more in the know, but as I recall, Ohio HS rules differ in other areas. They were slow to pick up the offside change for one. But I've been a way from the youth and amateur ranks for a few years now, as I retired as a player about a decade ago and haven't coached youth in at least 5 years.
       
    10. (They call him) RMc

      Jun 1, 2013
      Club:
      Celtic FC

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      Potential investors, a superstitious and cowardly lot

      The joke wasn't that funny the first time you used it, in one the Crew screeds.
       
    11. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Nat'l Team:
      Philippines

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      Oh, that SO wasn't the first time I did it

      And it gets funnier every time I use it
       
      russ repped this.
    12. ji_shuheng

      ji_shuheng Member+

      Mar 26, 2003
      Club:
      Sporting Kansas City
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      We have the word "backcronym" now even if we all wish we didn't.
       
    13. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Nat'l Team:
      Philippines

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      Excuse me while I quietly correct where I said "anagram" instead of "acronym." Why do I always do that
       
    14. (They call him) RMc

      Jun 1, 2013
      Club:
      Celtic FC

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      And it gets funnier every time I use it

      Um, no. Either get new material or write about another sport. (I hear curling is popular these days.)
       
    15. The Franchise

      The Franchise Member+

      Nov 13, 2014
      Bakersfield, CA
      Club:
      Real Salt Lake
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      USSF Election - Spare Change

      By Dan Loney on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM
      Curling is awesome. I'd watch it more if it were televised outside the Olympics.
       

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