It’s not a judgement, but rather a genuine question: What is Washington Youth Soccer, led by CEO Terry Fisher, thinking? goalWA.net has requested clarification from Fisher in regards to an email posted recently on WashingtonPremierSoccer.com. So far he has not responded.
In the email, apparently signed by US Youth Soccer Chair Jesse Harrell and US Youth Soccer Ceo Christopher Moore, USYS details what could be an upcoming break-up of the two associations.
FROM THE EMAIL: The purpose of this memo is to notify you of the Board’s decision to accept Washington Youth Soccer’s written notice to withdraw from US Youth Soccer and pursue sole registration with U.S. Soccer.
In a memo sent to US Youth Soccer dated November 21, 2016, the Executive Director of WYSA advised that their Board had directed staff to begin the process of sole registration with the Federation “as soon as possible.” Upon receipt of the memo, the Chair, Vice Chair, Region IV Chair and CEO of US Youth Soccer all reached out to the Executive Director asking to meet and resolve their issues. During those conversations, it was confirmed that this transition was happening and could occur as “early as tomorrow or as late as next year.”
We value Washington Youth Soccer’s long-standing membership with US Youth Soccer, but are profoundly disappointed by the unprecedented action taken by their Board to unilaterally leave the Association without forewarning or consultation. They made the choice to leave US Youth Soccer without giving us the opportunity to address their issues or propose any solutions conducive to a favorable outcome.
The email then provides a list of steps US Youth Soccer will take in the coming weeks:
Given the uncertainty surrounding when WYSA intends to leave, our Board took the following actions to protect our players and events, which include the following:
1. Formally accept WYSA’s resignation from US Youth Soccer effective as of January 1, 2017.
2. Rescind the offer for WYSA to host the 2017 US Youth Soccer Regional Championships in June 2017.
3. Revoke from WYSA any and all benefits associated with membership to US Youth Soccer, including access to programs and competitions, (i.e., National and Regional Presidents Cups, the National Championship Series, Regional and National Leagues and ODP).
4. Explore various other contingencies, which include taking steps to find a replacement organization in the State of Washington.
‘In the works for a long period of time’
One source we reached out to, who we will keep anonymous for now, told us: “This has become a legal issue now, so I can not comment. In addition, not being WYS President, I can not speak for the association. I can say this has been in the works over a long period of time, it did not just happen.”
Then the source hinted: “No question, this is about the new structure that is needed in the USA today.”
Washington Youth Soccer, it appears, wants a direct affiliation with US Soccer. So what are their complaints with US Youth Soccer? Hopefully they will be made clear in the coming weeks.
Other lawsuit connected?
An astute reader over on goalWA.net Facebook asks an interesting question: Does this revelation have any correlation to the lawsuit filed in regards to youth clubs getting reimbursed for developing players that go on to sign in MLS and elsewhere? Washington club Crossfire Premier is one of three youth clubs who filed the suit against the Major League Soccer Players Union.
In the linked article above, Dallas Texans club President Paul Stewart (one of the 3 clubs who filed suit) says:
“We believe the system should involve the MLS and/or the USSF putting more money into youth soccer by rewarding the clubs doing a good job in developing professional players and National Team members (male and female).”
Is part of this about money? (Silly question.) Is part of this about money NOT making its way from US Soccer to state soccer associations?
Risking important connections
The numbered list quoted in the email above shows what Washington Youth Soccer stands to lose if they proceed as the email suggests they will.
The risks are huge. And as Washington Youth Soccer seems ready to ‘throw a rope’ to the other side of a canyon, they must also hope that someone is ready to ‘catch it’ on the other side.
It begs a very important question: Does US Soccer even have an avenue to deal with a youth association? An office? People who will represent them in this relationship? Because it sure seems like the answer is — of course they do…and they are called “US Youth Soccer.”