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ASL Official Statement
ASL Official Response on World Cup

Like the rest of the U.S. soccer community, the American Soccer League (ASL) is also upset that the USMNT did not qualify for the World Cup. We feel however that the right call to action is an active measured response, with mature rational thinking, instead of "throwing out the baby with the bath water". We find that the shock felt by U.S. supporters and those around the world is actually refreshing, since it means that not only do we Americans feel we should always qualify for the World Cup, but so does our competition. It was not that long ago that playing against the U.S. was considered an easy win, so keep that in mind as we move forward. Being distraught with our significant setback, it would be easy for the ASL, to jump on the bandwagon and call for the immediate change and dismantling of the existing US Soccer leadership - but if that is all we do, then we believe that we will be back here again debating the effectiveness of our system in 4, 6 or 8 years. If we do not consider a more systemic approach to bringing our soccer nation forward, then we are doomed to repeat it. We at the ASL feel that US Soccer has implemented many positive steps, however, we do feel the need to change some elements of the structure, including the inefficiency of the national program. It took a full ten years for Germany to revamp their entire program and in the U.S., we do not even have all teen-aged players under the full academy framework, let alone have it fully manifested into the men's team/program. Our current structure is a design in disparity with many professional and amateur leagues vying for power and economic conquest, instead of developing players. Unless we take a full examination of the complete development program and begin to address how we got to where we are, we will not implement the changes required to fundamentally put us on a path to compete on the world stage. It is not about the registration system; it's not about the next interim USMNT coach; it's not about promotion/relegation; it's not about changing the college playing schedule; it's not about the academies It's not about the "pay to play" system; it's not about having former players move directly into coaching roles without the properly earned licenses...no, it's not individually about each, but it is about all of those and how they need to be combined to do the right thing for long-lasting change and positive effect! Like a marriage, we support American soccer for better and for worse. The American Soccer League and our ambitious expansion plans are all about developing the grass-roots of this beautiful game in the US and provide succinct development and pathways for the aspiring professional player to continue to learn and grow in the game. What we support is a proper effort, including the requisite leadership to take the mantle and address the total ecosystem through painstaking analysis and with caution make the changes. A positive start would be to make identified leadership requirements full-time paid role(s) commensurate with an industry compensation scheme. This means having well-qualified candidates with excellent senior business experience and soccer experience to come forth working either alongside current resources and/or expand the intellectual capital required to put us permanently on the map as a soccer nation to reckon with and efficiently put this debate to rest. It is the manifestation of these above thoughts that we would put our league and resources behind and move forward. -- here's to US Soccer!!! Erik W. Matson Chairman & Chief Executive Officer American Soccer League (ASL) ematson@ASLSoccer.org ...creating the professional pathway for the American Player










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