The U.S. Soccer Foundation has sued U.S. Soccer in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the two organizations couldn't settle their disagreement over the use of the foundation's
name and logo.
The foundation is seeking a declaratory judgment -- asking the court to rule there is no infringement.
In a statement, the foundation noted the difference in
its mission -- "to enhance, assist and grow the sport of soccer in the United States, with a special emphasis on under-served communities" -- and the federation's mission as the sport's national
The lawsuit follows a recent demand by the federation that the foundation cease using its name and logos. The complaint stated that "the USSF has threatened to hijack the
Foundation's trademarks for its own use—likely in an effort to capitalize on lucrative business opportunities when the United States hosts the World Cup in 2026."
The foundation was
founded in the aftermath of the 1994 World Cup when the U.S. organizing committee generated a profit of $50 million. The chairman of the organizing committee was Alan Rothenberg
, who was U.S.
Soccer president at the time. Current U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro
, Sunil Gulati
, the immediate past president, and Rothenberg are all listed on the foundation's board of
"We were surprised and deeply disappointed by the USSF's demand that the Foundation cease using our word and logo marks after 25 years—a dictate that not only would
deprive us of the enormous goodwill we've developed amongst the communities and children we serve, but effectively transfer it into the hands of the USSF," said Foundation president and CEO Ed
. "The Foundation has consistently expressed our unwavering commitment to maintaining and building upon the 25-year relationship we've enjoyed with the USSF, but faced with their
unreasonable demand we felt compelled to defend our brand and mission in order to preserve the important work we do for children across America."
The federation's demand comes as it has expanded its fund-raising efforts to help pay for
programs. In an interview with SI.com's Grant Wahl, Foster-Simeon said
the foundation was told the
federation was seeking to raise $100 million for a national training center.
The foundation has granted more than $100 million to organizations to fund soccer programs and field projects
in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.