Will U.S. Soccer change?

The volunteer U.S. Soccer President resigned this week because of the legal arguments U.S. Soccer soccer made to defend against the USWNT’s equal pay lawsuit.

Former Women’s National Team’er Cindy Parlow Cone now takes over.

Many people wonder…is the beginning of change at U.S. Soccer?

I refer back to this post on vested interests. Here’s a key quote from Terry Moe from that post:

Every institution in every policy area generates vested interests. And these are interests of people who get the services of those institutions but also who get the jobs that those institutions generate or the business contracts that those institutions generate. All institutions generate vested interests, and those vested interests have a stake in protecting their institutions from change because those institutions are the source of their benefits. And in many cases, those benefits, like jobs and profits, have absolutely nothing to do with whether the institutions are performing well.

And so these vested interests, which have a stake in investing in political power, will use their political power in order to stop reforms even when the institutions are performing very badly.

The vested interests of U.S. Soccer are the folks in power, the folks who own SUM and the folks who own MLS teams. All these folks use U.S. Soccer’s governing status of soccer in the U.S. to keep out competition.

I don’t expect that to change.

Given the backlash of the legal arguments against the USWNT, I expect to see a quick settlement and the women players will gain some of what they want.

Unfortunately, that will just bring them back into the fold as vested interests that will block further reforms that could help the game in the U.S.



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