As I'm sure everyone has noticed, there have been some major events in US Soccer over the last couple of days. I don't want to recap what has already been said or add my opinion to the sea of opinions (though I do have one), but instead I want to address another event that happened yesterday that is slowly but surely gaining steam. First, a little history.
Earlier this summer, I started talking with American Soccer United about several different projects, chief among them the idea for a US Open Cup Fan Prize to the amateur team that progresses the furthest. (By the way, if 1,000 people donated $5, which just happens to be how many people read the blog last week, we'd raise $5,000 to give to Christos FC. That's $3 less then the cost of one month of basic Netflix)
One other idea was American Soccer Clubs United. In my day job, I work with a lot of business associations. Groups of businesses who have come together and become members under some kind of acronym, like BSCAI. These associations are able to do several things. They provide a united front and voice for their members to push for their best interests. This includes lobbying and and vendor deals. They use their collective strength to get discounted goods and services from companies that offer what members need.
Thus the idea was born for American Soccer Clubs United. Yesterdays news did speed up the process significantly, but that's not a bad thing. ASCU provides an avenue for clubs to join together and make their voices heard, beginning with support for Dennis Crowley and Ricardo Silva's push for CAS to force the USSF to open the soccer pyramid. Every verified club owner/manager who joins is added to a master list of teams that can be used to show the promotion and relegation movement has many, many interested parties. It's time to go beyond Twitter hashtags and graphics and unite voices.
As the ASCU grows, we're going to start talking with vendors and leverage the strength of our collective members to get discounted goods and services on everything from jerseys and merchandise to insurance and media, including many more ways to benefit lower division & league clubs ad a whole.
This is a serious thing we're working on to improve the game of soccer at the lower levels in the United States. If you want to read the ASCU Mission Statement, click Here. If you work for/run a club in the lower levels, from D2 down to a County League, click Here to join.
I'd also like to issue a hearty Welcome to the following Clubs who have joined ASCU since just yesterday afternoon when this was launched.
Bearfight FC - Delaware
Lowcountry United - South Carolina
Gold Coast Inter FC - Florida
Oakland Pamperos - California
Western Nevada FC - Nevada
Biloxi City FC - Mississippi
Santa Ana Winds FC - California
Sante Fe Wanderers FC - Kansas
Sports Identity FC - Massachusetts
FC Santa Clarita - California
Frontier FC - New York
Club Toledo - Ohio
LK St Clair - Michigan
Motorik FC Alexandria - Virginia
The Valley FC - California
Oakland County FC - Michigan
FC Denver - Colorado
Boston Siege - Massachusetts
Muskegon Risers - Michigan
DeKalb County United - Illinois
Los Angeles Wolves - California