Chief Soccer Officer Asher Mendelsohn leaves U.S. Soccer

Asher Mendelsohn, who last January replaced Ryan Mooney  as U.S. Soccer's Chief Soccer Officer, has left the federation. A source told Soccer America the move happened last week. According to U.S. Soccer's Organizational Design chart, the Chief Soccer Officer is a senior staff member who oversees Administration, Development Academy, Coaching Education, Refereeing, Youth National Teams and Talent Identification -- and answers to the CEO.

However, in August U.S Soccer created a new position when Earnie Stewart was promoted from men's national team general manager to Sporting Director, and put in charge of overseeing "U.S. Soccer’s entire Sports Performance Department, including the men’s and women’s senior and youth national team programs." Stewart joined U.S. Soccer as MNT general manager in August of 2018.

Dan Flynn left the CEO position on Sept. 16 after indicating in late 2018 that he would be stepping down in 2019 following 18 years as U.S. Soccer's CEO and secretary general. U.S. Soccer's board of directors named Chief Stakeholder Officer Brian Remedi to the additional position of Chief Administrative Officer "to ensure the smooth continuity of all Federation operations" as the CEO search continues.

With Stewart's promotion, it is unclear whether U.S. Soccer will keep the Chief Soccer Officer position. Also unclear is the future of Chief Sport Development Officer Nico Romeijn, who has been in charge of High Performance while sharing with the Chief Soccer Officer the oversight of Development Academy, Coaching Education, Refereeing, Youth National Teams and Talent Identification.

Other positions that have been vacated and remain without a replacement, include:

Development Academy Director and Youth National Teams Director, both of which were held by Jared Micklos, who left in August.

Director of the Boys' DA, which was held by Aloys Wijnker until he departed in November of 2018.

Youth Women’s National Team Director. April Heinrichs' departure was announced in October 2018.

Five men's youth national team head coaches. The departures span a period from late 2017 to last June.

At least five women's youth national team head coaches.

U.S. Soccer announced that the search for a new men's national team general manager began when Stewart became Sporting Director and that Kate Markgraf, whose hiring as women's national team general manager coincided with Stewart's promotion, is leading search to replace Jill Ellis.

Mendelsohn arrived at U.S. Soccer in January from the Columbus Crew, where he spent the last five years as director of soccer operations, a period that coincided with U.S. men's coach Gregg Berhalter serving as Crew head coach.

Mendelsohn had previously worked for U.S. Soccer for nine years, in the member services department and overseeing the referees, coaching and development academy programs. He also worked on the startup of the Development Academy and the Professional Referee Organization.

13 comments about "Chief Soccer Officer Asher Mendelsohn leaves U.S. Soccer".
  1. Wallace Wade, September 27, 2019 at 10:13 a.m.

    Looks like the Federation has everything handled just fine....

  2. Eric Jensen, September 27, 2019 at 10:22 a.m.

    Solid article and appreciate all the context.  Socceramerica sets the standard...

    As a parent of two da age boys, all this noise with us soccer is frustrating. The boys have a finite number of years - five - really -  to play at a DA level, but the adults in charge can’t seem to get their act together. 

    Have always been of the mind that, as a adults , our collective job is to create a stable environment that provides the opportunity for the kids to succeed or fail based on their own merits and willingness to do the work. But when the adults allow their own “stuff” to get in the way of that, shame on them. That’s what seems to have happened at us soccer.

    stewart seems like he’s getting things cleared up, but he needs to act very quickly with great urgency. The boys and girls playing DA have a five year window, and at least one year has been wasted in a suboptimal environment. 

    clearly, with the new generation of young players emerging, the da program had started to pay off. However, just as this roí is becoming clear, us soccer is allowing adult “stuff” to get in the way of supporting the kids.

    This affects my boys, and thousands of other boys and girls. Come on guys, get it together ASAP. Do better guys, do better.

  3. Eric Jensen, September 27, 2019 at 11:09 a.m.

    one item that I think also happened in the last 12 months is a shift/downsizing that occurred with scouting, away from US Soccer scouts to relying heavily on clubs and then the showcase tournament and play-offs (both one time events).  never understood this shift since a big strength of the US is the number of players we have which would seem to indicate that we should have more youth scouting, not less. ironically, have heard multiple US Soccer staff refer to the volume of US youth players - and the subsequent need to filter - as a challenge/weakness of the US Soccer youth system. Seems to me that this is pov is 100% bassackwards.

  4. R2 Dad replied, September 27, 2019 at 12:10 p.m.

    If USSF doesn't measure the "ones that got away", then this new development doesn't matter. You can't manage what you can't measure, so USSF is only measuring what club owners are showing them. Problem solved--until one of these dual nationals shows up in another country's system and then USSF gets some temporary heat--but that goes away. Big picture, this is still all about the big funnel and how it serves MLS. The Nats silo is subservient to that. I need to xanax, stop caring about the Nats program and just tune in every 4 years--that's what they want us to do.

  5. humble 1 replied, September 30, 2019 at 10:23 a.m.

    USSF has been open that 90% of their scouting is done at DA academies.  This goes for boys and girls and of course on the girls side.  This is more controversial as movement from legacy ECNL Girls to National Team has all but dried up.  Boys ECNL is relatively new, but probably there is near zero movement to National Team there also. 

    Given the footprint of the DA - not in even half of states and in states they are in only in major metros - it was a step backwards from ODP.

    Furthermore, since it's inception more than 1  

  6. humble 1 replied, September 30, 2019 at 10:31 a.m.

    ...blast it...hit the 'return' key with one of my fat fingers...

    Anyway - my final point was that DA appears to be struggling to produce players for MLS and the mens National Team.  Perhaps it's on the mend - but the turn over and the vacancies and the pace of change such as we witness between the delay to find a GM and Head Coach, is not a good sign.  

    Red Card is an interesting read - Chuck Blazer was one of our boys caught in that scandal - he was very well known by all the past and current players in USSF - the complete lack of accountability in these so called National Soccer organizations, including our own USSF is shameful - and probably has not changed much other than there was a little 'cleansing' and the current players are wiser for it.  The contents of this article fit the hypothesis that there is very little accoutability in the USSF at their quiet little HQ in Chicago.

  7. Justus From SoCal, September 27, 2019 at 2:47 p.m.

    The Girls DA is scary.  Does anyone know who is in charge at the USSF for the young ladies?  Any accountabilty?  Oversight?  Not good at all!!!!

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, September 27, 2019 at 5:02 p.m.

    USSF put Earnie Stewart, the GM of the failed MNT program, in charge of everything. Was kicking him upstairs a reward or a punishment for Earnie? 

    For me it would be a punishment. I hated sitting at a desk.

  9. Bob Ashpole, September 27, 2019 at 5:05 p.m.

    Constant management reorganizations with confusion about areas of responsibility is the sign of a sick organization. 

  10. beautiful game, September 28, 2019 at 12:28 p.m.

    USSF, a house in chaos serving the 'good ole boys'....samo-samo drudgery. 

  11. Goal Goal, September 29, 2019 at 10:41 p.m.

    R2 you mentioned the tracking of those that got away.  Look at the U17’s that got away or left behind.  The US has many 17 year olds brought to camps at one time or the other but never called back but are playing and starting for clubs all over Europe including England, Spain, Holland and Mexico all scoring regularly who to our coaches minds didn’t meet the demands of the US Team.  Our team over loaded with players from MSL DA club sponsored players or home grown players who have signed with MSL teams who regularly ride the bench with these teams and never see action.  Compare the quality of the game in Europe compared to the United States and then tell me what is going on.   I watched an MSL game today between DC and Red Bull’s supposed to be playoff contenders.  Pitiful and that is being kind.  Are we picking the best players.  You tell me.

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, September 30, 2019 at 6:57 p.m.

    Recently I have watched some horrible zone defending in both US women's and men's professional play. Since zone defending builds on man to man defending, the implication is that the man to man defending is horrible too. 

    Why worry about horrible defending? Because the attacking players will not learn good soccer playing against poor defenses. 

    This is why we have MLS stars that fail against international competition.

    I will add too, that the impression I get is that the women's quality of play is superior to MLS. The men are stronger and quicker, but they are not better. Bad play at a fast pace is still bad. 

  13. Eamon Kavanagh, September 30, 2019 at 9:25 a.m.

    unbelievable

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