KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Oct. 10, 2018) – United Soccer Coaches today unveiled the “Commitment to Culture”, a pledge to build a unique, positive soccer culture in America. Consisting of seven cornerstones, the Commitment to Culture, has been developed by coaches for coaches to build a culture that celebrates what is best about soccer and helps it transcend from not only what happens on the field to what happens in the lives of players, coaches, administrators, referees, families and friends.

The seven cornerstones are the outcome of a strategic coaches’ summit held at the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia. Coaches representing all levels of the game – pro, college, high school, competitive and recreational – came together to examine the soccer culture after the U.S. Men’s National Team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and amid reports of declining soccer participation numbers. They were tasked with developing a framework of fundamental beliefs that the coaching community collectively can support and strive to achieve.

The consensus from the summit and months of follow-up work was a commitment to create a unique, positive culture for soccer in America. As the unifying voice, advocate and partner for coaches at all levels, United Soccer Coaches is leading the effort to build that culture. The Commitment to Culture and the seven cultural cornerstones are:

Commitment to Culture
We Believe…    

  1. Soccer unites us. We embrace and celebrate our differences because the game makes us one.
  2. Character first. We honor, teach and develop the core values of honesty, loyalty, responsibility, selflessness, compassion and discipline.
  3. The rule of fun. Fun is the lens that can make every soccer player a success. Fun takes many forms and always concludes with “I want to do it again.”
  4. The game is the teacher. We are all responsible to ensure that soccer teaches the skills of a well-lived life. Teamwork, leadership, hard work, communication and creativity are just the beginning of its lessons.
  5. Well-being. A safe, healthy, welcoming experience in body, mind and spirit is the right of every soccer stakeholder.
  6. We are family strong. Family in all its forms – team, club, community, relatives – is the greatest asset that soccer has. Take time to connect and appreciate.
  7. Soccer is the player’s game. Soccer is a personal journey for every player. It is for the player to see, decide, create and win or lose. It is their game.

“We’re thankful and proud of the effort of the many coaches who participated in this process,” said United Soccer Coaches CEO Lynn Berling-Manuel. “This initiative will help create a soccer culture that ensures every player is part of our game for life. By taking ‘the pledge’ coaches, administrators, referees, parents and players can begin to shape the culture within their own team or club. SOCCER UNITES US.”

“It has been widely reported recently that youth are quitting soccer in record numbers. In our Commitment to Culture Initiative, I strongly believe in THE RULE OF FUN: let the game be what keeps children wanting more,” said United Soccer Coaches President Lesle Gallimore. “I believe this is how we cultivate fans and contributors to the game at all levels for life.” Gallimore is the Head Coach of the University of Washington.

United Soccer Coaches has set up an online platform at UnitedSoccerCoaches.org/Culture for coaches, administrators, parents, and players to sign on to take the pledge and Commit to Culture. The platform also contains a toolkit for programs to promote their commitment to creating a unique and positive culture for soccer in America. In the months ahead, tools, resources and best practices will become available.