What They're Saying: Merritt Paulson

"The tendency to just burn everything down, you know, exists. And on sort of a macro level, you look at what's going on with the U.S. Soccer Federation right now. Obviously, they had an unbelievable hardship in not qualifying, and there's some good reasons to want change. But there's a sort of a just-burn-it-all-down mentality that exists. So much so that you’ve got candidates to run a federation who aren’t even emotionally and mentally stable, let alone have ever run an organization in their life. And you've got intelligent media not pointing that point."

-- Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson on what he termed an "extreme version" of change, in reference to what needs to change "on a much smaller level" for the Timbers after their exit from the MLS playoffs in the conference semifinals. (Timbers in 30)
6 comments about "What They're Saying: Merritt Paulson".
  1. R2 Dad, November 9, 2017 at 10:56 p.m.

    OK, MP, yoiu can have your two cents. But say we want change and we want to use our youth teams to drive that change. What is your club doing about that? From what I can tell, Portland only has two DA players, Farfan and Watts, on any of the U teams. I'd say your club is under-performing. I can't make you value youth development more, but lots of other MLS teams are doing much better than you are in that regard. Your U15s are currently 8th out of 10 teams, U16/17 is 4th out of 9 teams, U18/19 is 5th out of 10 teams. You don't seem to be doing much to improve the evolution of MLS from a home-grown perspective.  I'd settle for moderate change, but MLS has to be pulling its weight and Portland is certainly not doing their fair share.

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, November 10, 2017 at 12:42 p.m.

    If I remember correctly, Portland heavily supports ODP in Oregon and not for its own recruiting purposes. I was very impressed and thought that Portland was doing things in youth development that ought to emulated by other clubs.

  3. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, November 12, 2017 at 3:29 p.m.

    I thought results weren't important at youth level?  It's true they haven't brought through many academy players though.

  4. Footballer Forever, November 10, 2017 at 7:13 a.m.

    "So much so that you’ve got candidates to run a federation who aren’t even emotionally and mentally stable, let alone have ever run an organization in their life"

    Unless I am biased, I am sure that was directed for Landon, Ummmm, Donovan

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, November 10, 2017 at 1:03 p.m.

    I don't read minds, so who knows if you are right or not. I will say this much. Running an organization is a team effort. The team needs expertise. Individuals in the team don't need to have all the expertise. That is the currently misconception about managers. People expect managers to be super capable know it alls, and managers pretend to be so. But nobody is a super capable know it all. This misconception ends up being a black hole of vanishing organziational competence.

    1. Donovan has a lot of leadership experience. I think leadership experience is more important than management experience.

    2. I have dealt with a lot of experienced managers over the years, and most of them were bad managers in terms of mission success. Granted I was not called in when things were working smoothly, but still longevity by itself is not an indication of competence.

    Losing an athletic competition by itself is not an indication of incompetence. In the case of USSF, the problem is not losing a competition; the problem is the lack of progress in the quality of play in the last 10 years. I am not talking about winning or losing matches. I am talking about how the team plays with whatever quality of players available in the pool, regardless of the match results. When the goal is to improve the level of play, results are unimportant unless someone doesn't know good soccer when they see it and is reduced to assessing the quality of play by the scoreboard.  



  6. Bob Ashpole replied, November 10, 2017 at 1:08 p.m.

    I thought I had better clarify that I think Gulati is doing a great job. There has been mistakes, but overall a good job. I do want change, but in the organziation itself. I want the most knowledgeable soccer people making the soccer decisions, not managers. I also don't want those soccer people being selected by popular vote of the masses.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications