STEVE GANS
President
U.S. Soccer 2018

Like you, my passion for soccer is boundless. My father escaped the Holocaust in Germany for the U.S. and passed down his passion for soccer to me, as I have to my two sons (who are each excellent players in their own right). I transferred colleges from Cornell back home to Brandeis so that I could keep a part-time job and the ability to train with the Boston pro team at the time (New England Tea Men). After the team left Boston and an injury-filled college career, I deferred law school and joined the Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League in a front office position, while secretly hoping to make it back from those injuries. There I fulfilled my goal of helping the team to business success, and was proud to be signed as a player for a brief time. The Blast won an MISL championship and set US attendance records (one stands to this day), and when I was released as a player in training camp, I decided it was time to head back on that path to law school.

Near the end of my first year as a lawyer at a large Boston firm, I was asked to work on both the legal and business aspects of Boston’s bid to become a host playing site for World Cup ‘94.

Following that successful effort, other soccer touchpoints continued to provide me with a well-rounded perspective. Read More

Why

It is time for meaningful Change, Fairness, Inclusion and greater Competency.

The current President of U.S. Soccer has been elected to three terms unopposed (12 years in all). Now he wants 4 more years, based on a record that calls out for a fresh perspective. We can do better. The current President has been involved in U.S. Soccer for 30 years. It feels like 1989-90; despite near complete focus on the National Team programs by the current President (to the relative exclusion of other key U.S. Soccer constituencies), where are we as a soccer nation?

The current president’s record is troubling in many regards, including:

  • Extending former Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s contract for another four years prior to the 2014 World Cup;
  • Costing the non-profit organization U.S. Soccer $6.2 million in severance payments, as a result of the termination of Klinsmann’s contract;
  • Mismanaging the Women’s National Team pay equity issue, creating much bad will, and U.S. Soccer wound-up on 60 Minutes in a bad light;
  • Failing to appear at a Congressional hearing to which his presence was requested, a troubling leadership decision;
  • Ignoring or dismissing important issues that must be respected and met head on (e.g., the youth club solidarity payment issue, the status of the NASL), resulting in troubling conflict and/or litigation;
  • Marginalizing important segments of the U.S. Soccer constituency, including:
    • a) State Associations and other youth member organizations;
    • b) State Associations and other adult amateur member organizations;
    • c) certain members represented by the Athlete’s Council, including the paralympic, beach soccer and futsal National Teams;
    • d) certain Professional League member organizations;
  • Devoting little attention to the current zero sum battle between youth sanctioning organizations, which negatively impacts player development, as well as the experience of all youth players.

I believe that I can take my varied background at all levels of soccer, and with the input from so many of you key stakeholders, create positive change at all levels of the game, while implementing a more fair, transparent, diverse and open environment at U.S. Soccer.

Please join me as we try to effect Change, Fairness, and increased Competency, so that we can improve the fortunes of the sport we each love so much at and for all levels of the game in America.

I Am You (if you are):

Time For Fairness

Time For Change

Issues

There are several identifiable areas in which I pledge to improve transparency, fairness and competency. Here are a few examples.

Time For Success