US Club Soccer– a prominent member of the U.S. Soccer Federation and the leading organization developing soccer clubs across America – announces Mike Cullina has been appointed Chairman of its Board of Directors, replacing Phil Wright, who stepped down from the position he held since 2003.
Cullina officially began his Chairman role at the conclusion of today’s Board of Directors meeting. He will serve a term through February 28, 2021.
Wright will remain on the Board of Directors as Immediate Past Chairman. Two years ago, he penned an open letter to US Club Soccer membership sharing history of the organization and confiding that he agreed to remain Chairman until the Board of Directors found a suitable replacement.
“I am extremely proud of everything US Club Soccer has accomplished during my tenure as Chairman of the Board,” said Wright. “And, as I said in my letter to the membership, I truly believe our best days are ahead of us if our membership continues to work together to improve the game in our country.”
Just weeks after his letter, Wright was honored at the 2017 NSCAA Convention with a Letter of Commendation for his contributions and service to the sport.
Wright played professionally for the old North American Soccer League’s Portland Timbers after being a four-year starter at Stanford University.
A graduate of Stanford (B.A.) and Santa Clara University (J.D.), Wright returned to both institutions for a pair of five-year coaching stints in which he started both women’s soccer programs.
The former President and Director of Coaching of San Juan SC holds a U.S. Soccer National ‘A’ License and an NSCAA (now United Soccer Coaches) Premier Diploma, and he was the recipient of the 1997 NSCAA National Youth Coach of the Year in the competitive boys category. Wright recently returned to his passion of coaching, guiding the San Juan SC’s U-13 academy team.
Off the field, Wright recently retired as Assistant City Manager-Administrative Services for the City of West Sacramento.
“On behalf of the entire US Club Soccer Board of Directors, I want to recognize the contributions of Phil to the organization and American soccer,” said Cullina, who was elected to US Club Soccer’s Board of Directors in 2015. “I am honored to have the support of the Board and look forward to working with U.S. Soccer and the rest of the Youth Council members towards a common goal of improving the game. The Youth Members Technical Leaders Working Group has consistently demonstrated a willingness and desire for us to work collaboratively in areas that most affect our sport.”
With 27 years of experience as a coach, director and administrator, Cullina maintains a multitude of leadership positions within youth soccer. He is the Executive Director of Prince William Soccer, Academy Director of Virginia Development Academy and President of the Virginia NPL. Additionally, he is a member of the Youth Members Technical Leaders Working Group – a committee of top soccer officials from various youth associations.
Last year, Cullina was the Head of Delegation on the 2017 id² National Selection International Tour, in which a team of boys born in 2003 or later advanced to the quarterfinals of the Mediterranean International Cup in Spain – one of the best tournament finishes by a U.S.-based team in history of the tournament. Cullina holds a U.S. Soccer National ‘A’ License.
“The growth of US Club Soccer has been nothing short of remarkable in the 16+ years since its founding, and Phil’s tenure as Chairman has been a key ingredient of that success,” said Kevin Payne, US Club Soccer CEO/Executive Director. “Phil has a deep love for our game, and his commitment to youth soccer and its players, and his firmly rooted belief that soccer clubs are the foundation of our sport, have been a fundamental part of his leadership of the organization.”
The current list of Board of Directors with term expirations in parentheses:
Chairman: Mike Cullina (2021)
Immediate Past Chairman: Phil Wright
Regional Board Directors – Eastern Region: Jason Dewhurst (2018), Vacant (2019)
Regional Board Directors – Midwest Region: Tim Lesiak (2018), Mike Sweeney (2019)
Regional Board Directors – South Region: Gary Buete (2018), K.C. Crabb (2019)
Regional Board Directors – Western Region: Shawn Blakeman (2018), Eddie Henderson (2019)
At-Large Directors: Shannon Cirovski, John Rennie (annual terms)
Elections for Regional Board Directors seats expiring in 2018 will take place in February. As Chairman, Cullina will nominate a replacement for his now-vacant Regional Board Director (Eastern Region) position for approval by the Board of Directors.
To learn more about the US Club Soccer Board of Directors, please visit this web page.
About US Club Soccer: A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer is an organization committed to the development and support of soccer clubs in the United States.
US Club Soccer offers youth and adult registration, league and cup-based competition platforms at the recreational and competitive levels, as well as a variety of other programming, including the Olympic Development Program-sanctioned id² Program and Player Development Programs.
Through US Club Soccer, all of a club's programs – recreational, competitive and adult – are able to unite under one organizational umbrella, creating a "members for life" culture within each club.