The year 1941 is remembered by most Americans as the year the United States entered World War II. However, for those professionals who dedicate their lives to the sport of soccer, 1941 stands as a milestone for the sport in this country. Eleven months before that eventful Sunday morning of December 7th, a handful of insightful men created an organization that would grow to have great impact on the world of U.S. soccer. The fledgling group, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, would become the largest soccer coaching group anywhere in the world.
From humble beginnings as an informal get-together of a handful of collegiate coaches who lingered after a meeting of the Eastern Intercollegiate Coaches Association, the then-NSCAA, now United Soccer Coaches, has grown into the largest organization of its kind in the United States. Starting with 80 members that year, the organization has grown to 30,000 strong. That they touch the game of soccer at every level and work with both genders makes United Soccer Coaches unique on the American sporting landscape.
The initial goals of the organization, set in 1941, still define its purpose in its seventh decade. They were:
- Promote the game of soccer;
- Generate greater publicity for the sport;
- Improve teaching of the game through soccer clinics as well as research and evaluation of coaching of the sport.
From these initial goals, United Soccer Coaches has developed programs that establish it as a leader on the soccer landscape. Its coaching education program is considered among the finest in the world. A key component of it is the annual United Soccer Coaches Convention, billed as “The World’s Largest Annual Gathering of Soccer Coaches.”
In addition, the extensive United Soccer Coaches awards program recognizes the achievement of outstanding players and coaches at all levels of the game, presenting nearly 10,000 individual awards through its All-America, Scholar All-America, Team Academic Awards, Coach of the Year, Player of the Year and special organizational contribution awards such as the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame and Honor Award.
The preceding is an excerpt from The First 50 Years, 1941-1991: The History of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America by Joseph W. Bean and Timothy O. Schum.