U.S. Soccer Foundation Suing USSF Over Branding Dispute
Independent charitable organization U.S. Soccer Foundation has "sued the U.S. Soccer Federation" in U.S. District Court in DC, according to Grant Wahl of SI.com. In August, USSF "requested a meeting in which it said it was ending the relationship between the two organizations" and "demanded that the foundation abandon the name 'U.S. Soccer Foundation' and its logos." In the suit, the foundation said it is "seeking a declaratory judgement that the foundation owns the name 'U.S. Soccer Foundation' and related trademarks." U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO Ed Foster-Simeon: "We have spent $125 million over 25 years building up the equity around the U.S. Soccer Foundation and the work that we're doing. This is a threat to our organization and our ability to continue the work we're doing." Wahl notes U.S. Soccer Foundation was formed with $50M of the "profits" from the '94 World Cup hosted by the U.S. While USSF's "mission is to serve its member groups and produce the best national teams possible, the mission of the U.S. Soccer Foundation has been to provide access to soccer around the country to kids, not just potentially elite players." Foster-Simeon said that he was "particularly struck" that USSF took "such an aggressive stance" against the U.S. Soccer Foundation soon after including the foundation and its programs in the Legacy section of the successful joint bid with Canada and Mexico to host the '26 World Cup (SI.com, 12/6).