Debate: Possible USMNT general manager role raises many issues

The report by ESPN FC's Jeffrey Carlisle that U.S. Soccer's board of directors plans on creating a new position of general manager to oversee the men's national team created quite a debate on Thursday.

Many questioned the board stepping in now, in the midst of a hotly contested presidential election, to create the new role though it should be noted the board has been examining structural issues, dating back to its retreat in July ahead of the Gold Cup final in Santa Clara, California.

The need for a general manager -- someone to work on club and player issues -- is unquestioned. The lack of a general manager while the national team is in limbo following the resignation of Bruce Arena has raised the alarm that 18-year-old Jonathan Gonzalez, named to the Liga MX team of the season in the Torneo Apertura, will be lured away to play for Mexico.

Presidential candidates Kyle Martino and Eric Wynalda, both former national team players, weighed in on the issue:

6 comments about "Debate: Possible USMNT general manager role raises many issues".
  1. Wallace Wade, December 15, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

    This is Third World politics at it’s best. Very few Elitist non-soccer people making closed door decisions in secret! All designed to take power away from real grassroots soccer people.

  2. Fanfor soccer, December 15, 2017 at 11:05 a.m.

    There should be nothing done on this until the new Pres is in place. Period!

  3. Bob Ashpole, December 15, 2017 at 11:16 a.m.

    Typical mistakes of organizational failures:

    Focus on control instead of cooperation.

    Focus on power instead of mission.

    Effectiveness starts with a mission statement, a shared vision of the purpose of the organization.

    I don't know what happens inside USSF, but, outside USSF, the public apparently does not have a shared view of USSF's purpose. Generally speaking everyone seems preoccupied with viewing USSF through a microscope focused on their situation and concerns.

    There is a difference between a group and a bunch of individuals acting independently. As participants in a team sport, we ought to appreciate that difference. 

  4. Ridge Mahoney replied, December 16, 2017 at 7:09 p.m.

    there are exceptions but many state associations see additonal influence of the federation as meddling. It's not nearly as easy a process as the federation reshaping policy and informing the associations of what needs to be done. Getting any kind of a consensus will take a lot of discussion and compromise, and those fiefdoms under threat will push back. 

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, December 17, 2017 at 7:42 a.m.

    Tough situation Ridge, but effective supervision of organizations of any size requires mutual trust, cooperation and some delegation of authority to make decisions. This is the opposite of the current fad of micromanagement, a downside of the information age. 

    Just because technology allows a manager to control everything doesn't mean that it is wise to do so. 

    A characteristic of US culture is a lack of respect for authority. Advice and direction are not valued simply because of the source's position. Coach or manager, respect for the individual is required before advice and direction is valued in our society.  I have not, however, said anything you don't already know from your own experience. 

  6. R2 Dad, December 17, 2017 at 7:08 a.m.

    This smells fishy. The BOD is creating a GM position (they will presumably self-appoint)  to protect the USMNT/WNT/U team status quo. Who is on the board?

    President
    Sunil K. Gulati - lame duck


    Executive Vice President
    Carlos "I have harbored ambitions for a long time" Cordeiro


    Athlete Representatives
    Chris Ahrens, Carlos Bocanegra, Angela Hucles - presumably voices of reason


    Pro Council Representatives
    Don Garber, Steve Malik - MLS hacks


    Adult Council Representatives
    Richard Moeller, John Motta - agendas?


    Youth Council Representatives
    Jesse Harrell, Tim Turney - agendas?


    At Large Representative
    John Collins


    Independent Directors
    Donna E. Shalala, Val Ackerman, Lisa Carnoy - non-soccer people


    I think the Why Now question has to be answered first, and the voting records of these people should be public.

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