The last few years has continued to bring change to the landscape of U.S. soccer. We have seen the Women’s World Cup go to the Americans while in the midst of a lawsuit; MLS continues to grow while the NWSL tries to find its rightful spot. US Soccer is still reorganizing while global clubs of various sizes try in fits and starts to find their place, largely on the commercial side, in the lexicon of what is still the largest undefined marketplace for the world’s biggest sport.
Now comes another voice that has been involved, but not as loud. Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union investor Richie Graham announced the formation and launch of For Soccer Ventures – an investment firm focused on the growth and long-term development of American soccer. Graham has also done something many in the space have not, out his money where his efforts and voice is, adding $50 million dollars to the effort, looking toward both talent development at the grassroots level and a bigger commercial venture as well.
The new group will source, acquire and manage a portfolio of investments and businesses and will be comprised of two key platforms: The Soccer Collective is a new media house leading a collaborative movement to celebrate American soccer culture and fan experiences through storytelling, activations and brand content development. The Soccer Alliance will expand Graham’s existing network of soccer properties with a focus on youth clubs, leagues and tournaments with the objective of improving the on-field experience for players and the American soccer family.
“With the FIFA World Cup and Olympics coming to the U.S. in 2026 and 2028, there has never been a better time to double down on our commitment to advance American soccer forward.” Graham said in a statement, “Now is the time to invest with the future of American soccer in mind, and I am very excited to bring together a passionate executive team with deep roots and experiences within the American soccer ecosystem to lead this charge. The Soccer Alliance and The Soccer Collective represent our relentless commitment to both fuel and showcase the exciting growth of soccer in America.”
The new company will include executives with a track record of success in the crowded soccer space and include, Ryan Mooney former Chief Soccer Officer at U.S. Soccer; John Parker former Director of Strategy for Striker Partners’ soccer investments; Dr. Nooha Ahmed-Lee, Head of School, YSC Academy; Aaron Maines former Head of Sports Marketing at adidas soccer and Wasserman executive; Marc Horine, former ESPN executive and COPA90 US General Manager; Heath Pearce former U.S. Men’s National Team player and Lead Creative and Host at COPA90 and Burke Cherrie award-winning filmmaker and former Editorial Director at COPA90 US.
“With the 2026 FIFA World Cup and 2028 Olympics as our guiding stars, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to win the hearts and minds of players, parents and fans across the country,” added Mooney, Managing Director of For Soccer Ventures. “Our goal is simple, to invest in the game and unify the fragmented American soccer experience both on and off the field of play.”
Now how all this plays out and where those millions go will still be determined. But growing any sport is about correct strategic investment, not just squandering cash. More money is now in as seed, lets see how this louder voice now flourishes.