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Aug 06, 2020

Ep 29: Solidarity Pay For Youth Soccer Clubs with Crossfire Premier Attorney Lance Reich

Crossfire Premier Attorney, Lance Reich, joins SoccerWire Resident Analyst & Host, Charles Boehm, for Episode 29 of The SoccerWire Podcast.

Charles gives an introduction into the crazy world of FIFA training compensation and solidarity payments before chatting with Lance about how this translates into the U.S. youth soccer landscape. They discuss how Crossfire Premier has gone about getting their owed money from the DeAndre Yedlin transfer from Seattle Sounders to Tottenham Hotspurs, and how other youth clubs are working to get the money that is owed to them.

[+READ: Lance Reich: U.S. Soccer’s “very inadequate youth records” disrupting solidarity pay

Use the links below to listen to the full episode:

Show Notes

[1:00] Charles provides some insight into what exactly training compensation and solidarity payments are.

[6:21] Lance joins the show and introduces how he joined Crossfire five years ago to begin working on the money owed to the organization from the DeAndre Yedlin transfer and details out how/why Crossfire was due money.

[8:39] An explanation of how Crossfire never originally received the money and Major League Soccer/U.S. Soccer’s role in solidarity payments alongside FIFA + how MLS essentially denied the rights to the money for Crossfire.

[10:00] How MLS has changed their original positioning on solidarity payments and is developing ways to pay these out for their academies.

[10:42] Explaining player passports and how they play a role in the solidarity payments, specifically regarding Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey. U.S. Soccer cannot produce their player passports, leading to complaints to FIFA as it’s a larger issue affecting many U.S. Soccer players.

[14:18] Lance explains how he originally thought this was an older player issue because at least Yedlin had a player passport, though he shares it was incorrect. Other U.S. academy players with talents that could result in a transfer fee simply do not have passports.

[17:00] Questioning whether or not U.S. Soccer is using their player dues and fees wisely. and how the organization has mishandled documents and processes.

[19:58] Lance shares his optimism regarding the solidarity payments and whether they can become a reality in America. It was a big step for clubs to receive the training compensation from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup payout but…

[22:05] … that many clubs were not informed of the deadline to submit these claims, or that they could submit for these claims.

[24:19] The change in U.S. Soccer’s stance on payments to deferring to MLS, and how MLS has skirted around financial issues.

[28:05] Detailing MLS beginning to accept training compensation and solidarity payments, but only for its academies and how independent clubs were left out when their players transfer to MLS academies and then to professional teams.

[31:03] The previous mindset of youth soccer, to college soccer, then pro is changing to professional-focused. Discussion on how the U.S. Soccer landscape needs to adapt to this, including incentives for independent clubs aiding in the transfers.

[40:02] Explaining how overseas clubs and leagues are bringing in the money, more than our domestic leagues, and how the marketing focus is on gaining U.S. eyeballs. This leads to more U.S. players going abroad for larger transfer fees and now larger payouts to youth clubs.

[45:23] How clubs can help themselves with the players by asking for the play passports and keeping documentation active.