Interview with Nathán Goldberg Crenier on why he is the RIGHT Choice for VP
Decision Day: February 10th, 2024 at the U.S. Soccer AGM (ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING) in Dallas TX
To meet Nathán Goldberg Crenier is like opening the window for fresh air. Energetic, enthusiastic, and determined, Nathán Goldberg Crenier is more than a lifelong soccer fan and player, he is a man with a vision of how he can grow the sport and bring diverse stakeholders together, creating a more powerful platform for a dynamic future.
The former Assistant General Manager and Chief Soccer Officer of NJ/NY Gotham FC earned his place on the Sports Business Journal’s New Voices Under 30 for his transformative leadership of the NWSL team that rose in 2023 to become the NWSL champions. It was more than the record-setting match crowd and the thrilling 2-1 victory that sets this historic effort apart. It was holistic intelligence that enabled this educated soccer executive to take the team to this legendary ascent. Nathán has also be honored by Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30, Class of 2024 for his work with non-profits.
Nathán speaks data like a savvy Millenial and has worked with several professional soccer clubs in the MLS, Concacaf, and NWSL. When people look at Nathán, they can be curious if he has the requisite background for the VP role at U.S. Soccer … and many do not realize he served as Special Assistant to two US Soccer Presidents, Cindy Cone and Carlos Cordeiro, and was instrumental at assisting in the smooth transition after Cordeiro’s abrupt departure.
Nathán is running for U.S. Soccer Vice President on a platform of uniting “the different factions of our membership after years of division” and to “ensure every community is included in the growth of the game.” From explaining his idea of breaking down barriers to seizing the future, Nathán’s website is a straightforward showcase of his marketing know-how and his ideas.
SoccerToday Interview with Nathán Goldberg Crenier
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you love about soccer?
Nathán Goldberg: Soccer’s ability to bring people together.
Diane Scavuzzo: What needs to change in American soccer?
Nathán Goldberg: I think one of the things that needs to change is territorialism – having a sense of shared duty and loyalty is what should replace territorialism.
Diane Scavuzzo: If you had a magic wand, what would you do?
Nathán Goldberg: Increase the average Americans’ appreciation of soccer.
Get more people to become avid as well as casual fans. This would benefit the entire landscape, paving a path to creating a stronger soccer culture with more people playing, buying tickets to games, and developing national team players.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is your greatest weakness?
Nathán Goldberg: A handful of people think my youth is a weakness but I think it is a strength as it brings a perspective to the board room that is currently missing and is closest to the vast majority of people that the U.S. Soccer is serving.
The vast majority of of the 4 million players in U.S. Soccer’s membership are young — and, a lot are immigrants and Hispanic, like me.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you think there is a need to have a more diversified and or relevant U.S. Soccer board?
Nathán Goldberg: Yes, we need to ask “Does the collective perspectives in the room capture our target audience?” Unless the answer is yes, there will be a disconnect.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is your #1 goal if and when elected to be the VP of U.S. Soccer?
Nathán Goldberg: Make the federation more united — feel more united, so we can maximize the opportunities of the next 4 years.
Connecting with the membership to make sure they feel they are being heard — then we will be in a better position to maximize the future.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why do you believe you can accomplish this?
Nathán Goldberg: I have had the privileged of working at the Federation and across different platforms, so I have the experience of seeing things from multiple perspectives. I am not coming from within any of the Federation’s organizations, I don’t have a conflict or special interest. I am not beholden to any particular organization.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you believe you represent as a candidate?
Nathán Goldberg: Optimism for the future. I represent a future of soccer where people of all backgrounds are involved.
I have put years of work in developing key relationships which allows me to peel back some of the territorial perspectives — and, as people, we all want the same thing, which is doing what is best for the game.
I visited all 55 states as a candidate for VP – listening.
I wanted to learn from the people on the ground and in the trenches.
Diane Scavuzzo: How has the game changed in the last 5 years…
Nathán Goldberg: The American game has become more mainstream — It is now more in the American consciousness but there is still a way to go to catch up to the other sports… as there is more investment and attention, we are going to overtake hockey and then baseball.
A few trends that I see at the pro level … MLS has unquestionably improved in the last five years. The league has improved, as well as the game on the field. Same is true for the USL — part is a response to more investment and part perhaps is also due to benefit of data analytics — and, the USA is not the leader data analytics.
In London, Arsenal F.C. is one of the top leaders (in the use of data analytics) as well as Man City. American clubs should be the leaders.
On the women’s side, everything is growing exponentially and it is hard to keep up with the explosive rate of growth not just on the field but also with salaries and transfer fees.
Our infrastructure is the best in the world.
We need to do what we are good at. We are good at making smart decisions, collective decisions as leagues not as just single clubs, and leaning into what makes us special which is creating balanced and highly competitive schedules — rather than trying to mimic what Europe does.
We have more major cities ready to host major soccer tournaments and become the home of first division teams, so just our size is an amazing benefit which we should continue to maximize, although I feel we are going in the right direction. And we have multiple approaches — MLS is very measured while the USL is focused on bringing soccer to as many communities as possible … so growing at the highest level while simultaneously also getting pro soccer in to smaller communities where MLS is never going to go— this is a recipe for long term success.
Diane Scavuzzo: The line between youth soccer being a business and what is in the best interest of the players… what are your thoughts on this?
Nathán Goldberg: Scholarships for players doesn’t address the systemic issue that is a barrier to entry — mitigating the existing infrastructure is important and creating an effort to reach the kids before the barriers to entry in the pay to play stop them from developing their passion and skills.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is your favorite professional soccer team?
Nathán Goldberg: Borussia Dortmund
Diane Scavuzzo: What pro soccer club did you dream of playing for when you were young?
Nathán Goldberg: I grew up in Mexico and my childhood club was Toluca, one hour west of Mexico City. The mascot was the Red Devils.