How the Vote for USSF Prez Gets Tallied In Missouri
It’s old news by now that the United States Soccer Federation has eight official candidates running for President in the coming election this February. Among the other votes for president outlined in an impeccable Stars and Stripes FC article (from which I pulled the pictures below), Missourians have their say, not democratically, but through our youth and adult amateur associations. To get a better explanation of how it works and how they hope to handle it, I went straight to the sources: the voters themselves.
Missouri’s votes will be tallied by Jim McCarthy, President of the Missouri Youth Soccer Association, and Casey Frankiewicz of the amateur association (I must mention and thank Nik Bushell, Executive Director of the Missouri Youth Association, for a majority of the facts found in this article while naming participants).
There are many methods and processes the association leaders intend to employ in choosing the correct candidate. For starters, they intend to form the main base of their opinions by listening to their boards of directors and team owners/leaders. For Jim this will mainly occur at the 2018 MYSA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday January 27th in Columbia, MO. Casey is holding a meeting on January 20th. This is also your best chance to be heard, albeit indirectly. You must contact the owner or leader of whichever youth or amateur team you work with and ask them to speak on your behalf at the aforementioned AGM.
After the AGM, Nik Bushell will be attending the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia January 17-21 where he can do some all-important networking as well as take part in a Q&A with the candidates.
Finally, comes the USSF AGM in Orlando, FL February 8-11. I know Jim McCarthy is attending early to get some extra time for research, etc. This is, of course, the same meeting they will cast their vote, but word is there will be ample time to get the information they need and, I presume, to let politics have its way with everyone before the final vote is cast.
This is not to say the association heads haven’t heard from the candidates already. In fact, both gentlemen, altogether, have been contacted by every candidate in some capacity already--typically phone or email.
Casey Frankiewicz has had an interesting journey so far in this election (and in his soccer career--must read for St. Louisans). Casey had already talked to Sunil Gulati “four or more times” about supporting him in the presidency (which Casey planned to do) before removing himself from the race. Since then his most memorable conversations have been with Carlos Cordeiro and Sally Carter, although he hasn’t hinted at a favorite. In the world of personal opinion, Casey did say that he felt that some delegates were not qualified--taking it a little further saying “it’s an insult that they threw their names in the hat.” He’s aware of possible conflicts of interest in SUM and MLS while pointing out the importance of the President being qualified for the position they are campaigning to fill. Other important positions to him are referee training, fiscal responsibility (currently running at a deficit and losing more money by missing the world cup), and the recent movement of taking power away from the state associations. Frankiewicz did also say he considers fixing things at the youth level something that would help the entire national team program--referring to Candidate Carlos Cordeiro, whose bulk of experience is on the youth levels of soccer.
Jim McCarthy also, as you would expect, thinks the way our youth are raised in the game will have the biggest effect on the entire spectrum of US Soccer. His biggest issue with soccer in Missouri has to do with the many associations of soccer within it. Groups like CYC, YMCA, and High School sports (all outside MYSA) don't have the same standards and requirements, if any. More so, they compete with each other rather than work toward a common goal.
More than anything, I want to reiterate how much the association presidents repeatedly communicated their intent to do their best to represent their constituents’ soccer hopes, dreams, and best interests. They haven’t come close to forming their final decisions, but have merely been giving me an update on where they stand at this given time. Thanks to them for doing just that with incredible transparency in order to let us in on the process in our own state.
I hope to check in with them in a month when the vote is around the corner to see how things have changed. I encourage you to contact me with any missing pieces, questions, or challenges you like communicated in the next piece. -PG