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Girls Jul 30, 2016

US Youth Soccer issues discipline for thrown match at Nationals

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FRISCO, TEXAS (Via US Youth Soccer) – US Youth Soccer has released a statement on the U-18 Girls group match between Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) and Ambassadors FC (OH-N) at the National Championships in Frisco, Texas on July 28 in which neither team attempted to score.

Each side only needed a draw to advance to the semifinals, and rather than playing a competitive match, passed the ball around the field for the majority of the contest to preserve their energy for the next round.

Video for the match has been made unavailable to the public, but Top Drawer Soccer’s Will Parchman reported on the game, describing the action as each team “laggardly passing around the back and occasionally lofting a long ball so the opposing side could do the same,” predictably ending in a 0-0 draw.

Ambassadors FC coach Caleb Fortune was quoted in Parchman’s story, citing extreme heat in Texas as the reason for the teams throwing the match.

“If you watch the start the players were kind of going back and forth and there was a couple of shots,” Fortune told Top Drawer Soccer. “As the game went on, they stopped pressing and kind of asked what’s the point of running? There’s no reason to do it. I do understand that in terms of the event, you have to play the game. But the result was meaningless. We weren’t match fixing.”

+Read Fortune’s full statement here

US Youth Soccer has also released a statement on the match, saying that the National Championship Series Committee found the teams were “disrespectful to the game, the competition and US Youth Soccer.” The statement also announced that US Youth Soccer has issued unspecified disciplinary action as well as monetary fines to the teams.

The US Youth Soccer Board of Directors is also investigating to determine whether potential violations of US Youth Soccer bylaws occurred.

Read the full statement below:

“US Youth Soccer takes the issues of fair play and respect for the game very seriously. Following the July 28 game between Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) and Ambassadors FC (OH-N), the National Championship Series (NCS) Committee of US Youth Soccer met on Thursday evening to examine the conduct of the coaches and teams, and has reached a determination based on the evidence presented and reviewed.

After meeting with both teams, the Committee found the teams were disrespectful to the game, the competition and US Youth Soccer. The integrity of the National Championships Series Competition is predicated on fair play and sportsmanship by all participants and those ideals were compromised.

Upon completion of a thorough investigation, including interviews with the teams in question and game officials, the NCS Committee did not find sufficient evidence of collusion. However, it determined the coaches may have had a material effect on the outcome of the match. Disciplinary action and monetary fines have been assessed to both teams.

While it supports the disciplinary process of the National Championship Series, the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors is also investigating this matter to determine whether potential violations of US Youth Soccer bylaws occurred, or if the actions of the coaches were adverse to the best interests of soccer or US Youth Soccer.

While each team worked hard on the first two days of play to put themselves in a position to advance, we believe the strategy of the coaches in this game failed their players, the competition and the principles of sportsmanship and fair play.

US Youth Soccer will review its policies and make any necessary alterations to ensure this type of display doesn’t happen in the future.”