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The Soccer Sidelines

131 EpisodesProduced by David DejewskiWebsite

Join Coach Dave on the sidelines as he brings you in on what’s going on behind the scenes and the stuff that really matters in youth sports. Understand the game, development, and ways you can support your young athlete at home!


Alphabet Soup in US Soccer

How do you get from wherever you are in the youth soccer ecosystem to the Olympics, a National team, or a professional team? How do you make the most of your experience and come away happy that you participated? As simple as this question should be to answer, it is anything but simple. The array of options and thousands of spin offs that exist today are confusing even to those in the business of youth soccer full time. In this episode, I am going to confuse you temporarily while I lay out the scope of the Alphabet Soup problem, then Im going to try to simplify some things so you can sleep tonight. I apologize in advance for the spaghetti network of nonsense I'm going to throw at you, but if you can tough it out, my hope is that you'll have a better picture of the US soccer landscape and maybe make some more informed decisions about the future for your kids as they(and you) explore this awesome sport. Let's Back Up and Take it From the TopAt the top of the soccer pyramid is the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Under the Umbrella of FIFA, 3.6 Billion fans from 200 countries participate in one of six "Confederations." It was founded in 1904; headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland; and is governed by an elected president, a senior vice president, a secretary general, and 7 vice presidents. They are elected by the FIFA Congress which consists of a member from each of the associations that are part of the organization. The total number of participants is 25. They make the top strategic decisions like which nation will host the World Cup - which is held every four years. The Congress also has committees like the finance committee, fair play committee, ethics, rules, and referees. The six confederations include: Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL) - the South American confederation with 10 members and founded in 1916 in Argentina.   The Union Des Association Europeenes de Football (UEFA) - mostly the European region with 55 members and founded in 1954 in SwitzerlandThe Asian Football Confederation (AFC) with 47 members and founded in 1954 in ManillaThe African Confederation (CAF) with 56 members, founded in 1957 in Sudan Oceania Football Confederation  (OFC) - the Pacific Island confederation with 1966 after Australia and New Zealand were rejected by the AFC. Australia left to join the AFC in 2006. And the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) with 41 members including the US, Canada, Mexico, and others, founded in 1961 in Mexico City Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageInside the United StatesSince this is a US-based podcast and I am part of a leadership team that runs an affiliate member of US Youth Soccer, I'm going to deep dive into the US system. Just know that the US is one of 41 members of CONCACAF - though it could be argued we're one of the biggest players in this confederation.  The US became an original member of CONCACAF on September 18, 1961. A bit of background you should know about is 1. the US didn't always follow FIFA 100%. That changed in 2010 and we now follow FIFA. 2. Canada, Mexico, and the United States are hosting the World Cup 2026. The last time we hosted a World Cup, the MLS was born, so many in the US are expecting positive disruption in the US Soccer Landscape in the next 5-6 years. United States Soccer Federation (USSF)At the top of the United States soccer pyramid is a 501(c)3 nonprofit governing body; headquartered in Chicago, Illinois; referred to as the United States Soccer Federation or USSF. It was founded on April 5th, 1913, and acquired provisional FIFA affiliation on August 2nd, 1913. The US became a full member on June 27, 1914. USSF also has a relationship with the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee. Under US Youth Soccer,

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