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Orange County Register (California)


In 2005, U.S. Youth Soccer, the nation's largest youth sports organization, conducted a survey of its 55 state associations on background checks of coaches, club employees and volunteers.

USYSA asked the state associations if they conducted background checks and if so how often and who was checked? The survey also asked state officials if they had any "National Policy/Legislation Suggestions," according to USYSA documents obtained by the Southern California News Group.

"Make one," wrote Gary Lynch, Maryland official.

USYSA's lack of nationwide policy requiring mandatory background checks is at the heart of a lawsuit filed against the Texas-based organization by a former Bay Area player who was sexually abused at ages 12 and 13 by her club coach who was hired by the club despite a prior conviction for domestic violence.

At the time of the coach's hiring, Cal North, the USYSA-sanctioned governing body of clubs in northern California did not require background checks, so the coach's 2007 domestic violence conviction went undetected.

From ABCourt: Leagues Have Duty to Shield Youths from Predators

A mediation hearing is scheduled for today in the case filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court. Cal North settled its suit in the case for $1.7 million.

USYSA chief executive officer Christopher Moore and the organization's attorney did not respond to requests for comment.

USYSA boasts 3 million players nationwide.

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April 19, 2018


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