U.S. Soccer board approves amendment to pay USSF president for first time

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U.S. Soccer members voted Saturday to create an annual $150,000 stipend for the position of president. The vote passed with 80.88 percent of members present voting for the proposed amendment to the relevant bylaw.

Until now, the position of USSF president has been an unpaid one, which has increasingly created issues with the president essentially working a full-time job for U.S. Soccer, but also needing a separate source of income to perform those duties.

This issue is not a new one. The question was also posed at last year’s annual general meeting (AGM), with a proposed bylaw amendment to pay the president $125,000 yearly. At that time, the proposal only received 62.87 percent approval, which fell short of the two-thirds requirement to pass.

Those against the amendment spoke at this year’s AGM, arguing that paying the president endangered U.S. Soccer’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, and that if the position was strenuous enough that it required the equivalent of full-time pay, then responsibilities should be removed from the position to make it less strenuous.

Juan Uro, an independent director with USSF, responded with strongly worded arguments in favor of the amendment, emphasizing that after consulting with lawyers and looking at current U.S. labor law, there was no legal issue in compensating an officer for their duties.

In responding to a member who argued that foundations like the Mayo Clinic or the Red Cross did not have chairpersons who operate the way U.S. Soccer’s operates, Uro responded, “I think we are not trying to operate like the Mayo Clinic or the Red Cross. … We are soccer. We need a president to stand out, to work with other presidents around the world.”

Uro also replied to arguments that the position’s prestige should be compensation enough.

“From where I grew up, prestige doesn’t pay rent. Prestige doesn’t put food on the table,” Uro said.

Uro also said that, as he wanted to be less emotional about the issue based on feedback he received last year, in addition to consulting with lawyers, he used a chatbot like ChatGPT, asking it: “Should the U.S. Soccer Federation president be paid?”

Arguments for compensation included the significant time and effort the role requires, the ability to attract highly qualified candidates to enhance the federation’s performance and reputation, and making the role more accessible to a diverse range of candidates who may not have the personal financial resources to work without pay.

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(Photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)





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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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