U.S. Soccer Foundation Sues U.S. Soccer After Being Asked to Change Name, Logo

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2018

A soccer ball bearing the U.S. soccer logo is displayed in New York, Thursday, April 29, 2010.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

United States Soccer ended its relationship with a charitable organization in August and is now facing a lawsuit.

According to Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, the U.S. Soccer Foundation sued the U.S. Soccer Federation on Thursday.

U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon explained U.S. Soccer told his organization—which has invested more than $125 million over the last 25 years to improve access to soccer, largely in low-income communities—it was severing the relationship.

Wahl noted the purpose of the lawsuit is to establish "a declaratory judgment that the foundation owns the name 'U.S. Soccer Foundation' and related trademarks."

The U.S. Soccer Foundation was created in 1994 with some of the money the United States made by hosting the World Cup that year. The U.S. Soccer Federation's president has traditionally occupied a seat on the foundation's board.

Wahl shared a look at the similarities of the logos:

The U.S. Soccer Foundation explains its mission on its website:

"The mission of the U.S. Soccer Foundation is to enhance, assist and grow the sport of soccer in the United States, with a special emphasis on underserved communities.

"We view soccer as a powerful vehicle for social change. By supporting the development of places to play, places to grow and places to learn, our goal is to ensure that children in underserved communities have easy and affordable access to quality soccer programs that support their physical and personal development."

Foster-Simeon pointed out that United States Soccer used the presence of such a charitable foundation to help it land the 2026 World Cup.

"It's almost like a bait-and-switch," he said. "Like we were great for them leading up to the bid, but then within weeks of receiving the bid, it's like, 'Oh, we want to divorce from you and want you to change your name.'"

It was announced in June that the United States, Mexico and Canada won the right to host the 2026 World Cup. It will mark the first time in the event's history three nations serve as hosts.

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