U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone (far left) and CEO/Secretary General JT Batson (far right) with men's national team coach Gregg Berhalter and sporting director Matt Crocker.
With hosting the 2026 Men's World Cup on the horizon, U.S. Soccer, the nation's soccer governing body, announced its wide-ranging "Strategic Vision."
It's built around five pillars driven by what U.S. Soccer describes as "core philosophies" such as “all soccer is soccer” and “scalability is key.”
The U.S. Soccer Strategic Vision spans supporting the grassroots game, the Safe Soccer Clearance Program, the further popularization of soccer in the USA, national team success, and raising money for those efforts.
U.S. Soccer runs 27 national teams: men’s and women’s, youth national teams, and extended national teams (beach, CP, deaf, futsal and power pro).
The five pillars are:
The accelerated initiatives are: World Cup 2026 Legacy, Safe Soccer Clearance Program, Growing the Number of Referees, Democratizing Soccer Knowledge, Unified Sporting Strategy and Ecosystem Partnerships.
A letter to the U.S. Soccer community from President Cindy Parlow-Cone and JT Batson CEO/Secretary General opened with:
"The 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup will bring the biggest sporting event in history to our shores in less than three years. Opportunities like these are once-in-a-generation, which is why we are committed to working with all of you to use this moment to transform the game in our country forever and for the better. Together, we have an extraordinary opportunity to inspire millions of players, coaches, referees and fans of all ages. ...
"U.S. Soccer’s external engagement team will be reaching out to discuss what this means for you and to determine next steps to operationalize these goals. ..."
Among the accelerated initiatives, U.S. Soccer promises in the coming months to partner with the referee community to launch recruitment programs.
The "World Cup 2026 Legacy" aims to "engage national, regional and local stakeholders to drive grassroots participation, engage and cultivate a new generation of fans and unlock new funding to ensure that we make the most of this unprecedented opportunity."Photo by Mike Woitalla