“We are disappointed that our bylaw amendment seeking fair representation on the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors was not allowed to come to a vote,” said United Soccer Coaches CEO Lynn Berling-Manuel. “However, United Soccer Coaches will be back next year to get this done. It is our responsibility as an advocate for coaches. The vocal support we received from so many delegates at the Annual General Meeting was heartening. We want to thank the U.S. Armed Forces Sports Council who worked side by side with us as we are both in the Associate Membership category that no longer has U.S. Soccer Board representation. If soccer is going to continue to move forward in the U.S., all stakeholders, including coaches, need to have a voice.”
The proposed bylaw change would have provided each Associate Member, a category of membership which includes United Soccer Coaches, a vote for the At-Large board member that represents those U.S. Soccer members that do not have an automatic seat on the Board.
Associate Members are part of the “Other Affiliated Members” of U.S. Soccer also known as the at-large committee. It encompasses all member groups that do not have a direct seat on the board. Associate Members are able to vote for national officers and bylaws, but they do not currently have a vote for the at-large board member that actually represents them. Associate Members is a category of U.S. Soccer members that do not register players.
Associate Members had a full seat on the Board until the 2006 board restructuring that reduced the board from over 40 members to its current size of 14 voting members.
There are currently two Associate Members, United Soccer Coaches and the U.S. Armed Forces Sports Council. The “Other Affiliated Members” of U.S. Soccer are: American Amputee Soccer Association, American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), SAY Soccer, USA Deaf Soccer, US Club Soccer, U.S. Futsal, United States Power Soccer, United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA-Soccer). There are 12 total votes for the At-Large board member accrued to the other eight organizations based on their size.
The proposed bylaw change would have given each Associate Member one vote for the At-Large Board member.