Soccer United Marketing

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SUM president Kathy Carter leaving position

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There was a time where it looked like Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter was on track to become the next U.S. Soccer Federation president, however, she will be seeking a new challenge starting soon.

[ MORE: UCL returns Tuesday as Man City, Roma look to complete comebacks ]

On Monday, Major League Soccer released an announcement stating that Carter will no longer serve in her current capacity as SUM president, a position she has held since 2010.

Carter’s attentions had been taken elsewhere recently, as she was one of eight candidates that were named on the USSF presidential ballot in March. Current president Carlos Cordeiro ultimately won the election, though, succeeding Sunil Gulati.

“My time with Soccer United Marketing and Major League Soccer has been deeply meaningful – building and expanding the game has been my profession and my passion,” said Carter. “I’m grateful for the life-long friendships I’ve made and the support I’ve received from the Commissioner, MLS Business Ventures President Gary Stevenson and all of my colleagues at the league, and look forward to seeing MLS continue its incredible growth. I will remain a huge supporter of MLS and U.S. Soccer and will be cheering loudly from the stands for our clubs and players.”

MLS commissioner and SUM CEO Don Garber also chimed in on Carter’s departure.

“I would like to thank Kathy on behalf of our owners, clubs and staff for the significant contributions she has made to the sport of soccer in the U.S. and Canada while at SUM and MLS,” said Garber. “Kathy played a critical role in the development of our league and the growth of soccer in North America for many years.  Her energy, leadership and strong relationships helped establish SUM as one of the leading commercial soccer companies in the world.  We wish her the best of luck in the next chapter in her career.”

Presidential candidate Solo files complaint against U.S. Soccer

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Hope Solo took a massive shot at the U.S. Soccer establishment on Tuesday, filing a complaint to the United States Olympic Committee that claims the United States Soccer Federation is neglecting its duties to the sport in favor of propping up Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing.

[ MORE: Arsenal teen to Barcelona ]

She adds that current administration’s apparent backing of ex-SUM president Kathy Carter will only continue what ails the federation.

Solo, the controversial and legendary USWNT goalkeeper running for president of the federation, claims that “USSF’s paramount concern has become protecting and nurturing the MLS, even if at the expense of other stakeholders, including those involved in professional women’s and amateur soccer.”

She says the USSF is in violation of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, which in part allows the USOC to give organizations governing power regarding individual sports.

On a blog post announcing the complaint, Solo says:

“The campaign has also made me acutely aware that the USSF’s conflicts of interests and other governance transgressions are so alarming that we can’t wait for the results of the Presidential election to take action.”

The document lays out some interesting points, including a shot at current president Sunil Gulati’s statement that the non-profit USSF was a “consumer-driven organization.”

NASL lawsuit denied; League vows appeal, further fight vs. USSF

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The North American Soccer League has failed in its lawsuit to regain Division 2 status through U.S. Soccer, as Judge Margo Brodie denied the league’s claims early Saturday.

The league claimed that U.S. Soccer was in bed with Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing, and that leagues like the NASL were being held down unfairly by a blockade between MLS and the United Soccer League.

Judge Brodie, for what it’s worth, said the NASL’s been treated very poorly but did not prove it deserved relief.

In a sense, it feels like thats says, “Yeah you got treated like hot garbage, and it looks pretty corrupt, but a part of your argument is missing.”

Here’s what US Soccer says.

And here’s the NASL’s response, from interim commissioner Rishi Sehgal:

We are very disappointed with the Court’s decision in denying our motion for a preliminary injunction. We remain steadfast in our pursuit of antitrust claims against the U.S. Soccer Federation and are confident that justice will ultimately be served. In light of the extreme harm this decision poses to the NASL and our teams, players, coaches and fans, we will immediately begin reviewing all of our legal options including the process for appealing today’s ruling.

MLS’s 2014 All-Star Game is going to be in Portland

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PORTLAND, Ore. – One day after JELD-WEN Field saw the U.S. Men’s National Team open their 2013 Gold Cup, Major League Soccer announced the league’s 2014 All-Star Game will take place in Portland, a surprisingly early confirmation of a host city.

This year’s host, Kansas City, wasn’t revealed until six months before late July’s game against AS Roma. This time, however, the league is not even waiting for suspense to build. Out of nowhere, the league’s committed 12 months ahead of time, with next year’s game set to take place in “late July or early August, 2014.”

“The Portland Timbers and their passionate fans have certainly earned the honor of hosting the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game,” said MLS commissioner Don Garber said at a Wednesday press conference, also attended by Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson and Portland mayor Charlie Hales. “This match will showcase to an international audience the incredible devotion to the game in the Pacific Northwest that serves as one of the most important stories for our league.”

Alluding to Portland as “Soccer City, USA,” Paulson called the event “the first major All-Star Game of any sport ever in Portland.”

“Portland is a soccer town, pure and simple,” according to the mayor. “We are honored that our city has been chosen to host the [game].”

The timing of the announcement was the focus yesterday, when Major League Soccer revealed a Wednesday press conference would be held in Portland. With the city’s mayor set to join Paulson and Garber, it didn’t take James Moriarty to figure out the All-Star Game was coming to Cascadia. Why, however, was it being announced so early?

In the past, getting a team to commit to the All-Star Game meant the franchise would eliminate a date for a potentially lucrative summer friendly, something many teams are unwilling to do so far in advance. Portland, however, has not drawn the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, and Real Madrid to JELD-WEN. And with a capacity of just over 20,000, it’s becomes cost-prohibitive to do so. The Timbers don’t have to make the same trade offs.

Another issue the Timbers have in luring potential friendly competition to Portland — their fine-but-let’s-act-like-we’re-in-1972 turf — could be a factor in recruiting an opponent to JELD-WEN. While the capacity issue becomes less of a concern when Soccer United Marketing’s willing to absorb the cost in the name of one of the league’s two marquee events, a European club’s willingness play on turf may ultimately reflect our antiquated attitudes. Will MLS and SUM face a “temporary grass or no” ultimatum from a Barcelona-esque club?

(MORE: Steve takes another run at the turf debate in the wake of a complaint-less day at the Gold Cup.)

With today’s announcement coming one year before the game, expect those issues to be put on the back burner. For now, all we know about the 2014 game is that one of the most renown atmosphere is Major League Soccer will host next year’s showcase.