The New York Times reported
that anonymous employee reviews extremely critical of U.S. Soccer that appeared on the
employment Web site Glassdoor in the last month "accurately reflected concerns inside the federation’s Chicago headquarters." U.S.
Soccer: Glassdoor Reviews
The New York Times report was based on what it described as
telephone interviews with "several current employees at various levels of seniority."
A current employee confirmed to Soccer America in a message last week that the reviews, which picked
up right after Memorial Day, had been a topic of conversation among staff around Soccer House for several weeks and "reflect the general feelings of most of the staff."
The reviews tell a
story common to those with strong opinions about their current or former employer on topics such as pay, hours, work space and communication. The recent U.S. Soccer reviews commonly refer to working
at the federation as a "dream job" -- a chance to work in soccer at the highest level -- but many were directed at upper management in great detail. Dan Flynn
, U.S. Soccer's CEO
and secretary general since June 1, 2000, announced plans to retire this year. One of the names mentioned as a possible replacement has been Jay Berhalter
, the older brother of U.S. men's
national team coach Gregg Berhalter
and the federation's chief commercial officer.
At least four use the word "toxic" in reference to the environment at Soccer House, U.S. Soccer's
Chicago headquarters. The New York Times categorized reviewers as having "open disdain for Flynn and Berhalter." One reviewer noted, "Talented people are getting crushed by this organization left and
right, mainly because of being overworked, underpaid, and treated incredibly poorly by the upper management."
Flynn and Jay Berhalter, the federation's two highest-paid staff members,
have worked closely for most of the last two decades. Berhalter has been highly influential in the business affairs of the federation, whose surplus has exploded in recent years.
its net assets in its most recent published audited financial statement (March 31, 2018) as in excess of $166
million, more than double the total only four years earlier. Much is the surplus is attributed to the federation's organization of the 2016 Copa Centenario. Berhalter served as CEO of the Copa 2016
subsidiary the federation set up.
One Glassdoor review referred to Berhalter as the federation's "defacto CEO" and another made reference to the "the self-appointed CEO."
one from the federation would speak publicly to the New York Times in response to the reviews. A spokesperson, in a statement, acknowledged that “at the moment we are at an inflection point
where we are rapidly growing as an organization, which is both rewarding and challenging. As we grow, listening to our employees and taking action where and when needed will be more important than
Soccer America was told by a federation source that the reviews reflected a concerted effort to get views out based on the advancing stage of the job search to replace
According U.S. Soccer By-Law 501, "the Secretary General shall be appointed by the President, subject to the approval of the Board, and shall serve as the Chief Executive Officer
of the Federation."
The current BOD consists of 14 voting members
. (There is currently listed a vacancy for one
of the three independent director positions.