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Fans’ View: What should the Union’s new mission statement say?

Photo: Ryan Griffith

Editor’s note: This is the latest piece of PSP’s season preview on Philadelphia Union. Read the other posts of the season preview here.

Philadelphia Union has apparently decided to rework its mission statement.

An original poster-sized version hung in the Chester End club until recently. As memory serves, its goals were pretty ambitious. This got us wondering:

What should the Union’s new mission statement say?

Background on mission statements

First, a word about vision and mission statements. The two terms frequently get mixed up and appear almost interchangeable. In general, mission statements are foundational: they state why a business exists and the basis of how the business will fulfill its purpose.

A mission statement then informs the vision statement, which describes where the company aspires to be in the future. Combined, these statements try to define the organization’s reason for existing and its outlook for employees, partners, board members, consumers, and shareholders.

As a company grows, its objectives and goals may change. Therefore, vision statements should be revised as needed to reflect the changing business culture as goals are met — or not.

So it’s probably a good idea that the Union have taken theirs in for an overhaul. After all, the original version dated back to the Nick Sakiewicz era.

Other mission/vision statements in U.S. soccer

Let’s look at some soccer-specific M & V models and see how they might inform the Union’s effort to redefine itself.

  • US Soccer mission: “Make soccer, in all its forms, a preeminent sport in the United States, and continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels.” Wow. Preeminent. Surpassing all others. Very distinguished in some way. Love to see USS’s timetable for that Mission!
  • US Youth Soccer mission: “Foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America’s youth for the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition.” Noble. Reminiscent of Manchester City’s origins and philosophy.
  • US Club Soccer vision: “US Club Soccer will be the finest soccer organization in America and an integral part of US National Team success.” A solid and ambitious raison d’etre, but wait there’s more….
  • US Club Soccer mission: “…Will foster the growth and development of soccer clubs throughout the United States to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages in every club.”  If you think US Club Soccer has not thought this through, go online and check out their eight-point core values statement.
Mission/vision statements in pro soccer

On the pro side, here’s MLS’s Vision for 2022, declared in 2011:

“…(Become) a pre-eminent sport in North America and … among the best leagues (in the world). There’s that pre-eminence hangup again.  Just can’t settle for being bigger than the NHL, eh?

  • Manchester City mission: “Manchester City Football Club is the sole heart of the city. During its proud history, our football club has built a bottomless, lasting association with communities in Manchester and in cities further afield. All the fans portray it in their steadfast passion for the Club; we show it through our devotion to building, for them, the successful and supportable football club for the future. It is an obligation that the Club is privileged to shoulder. Therefore, we at Manchester City Football Club are enormously proud of the unwavering support of our fans and we remain dedicated to working closely with them in order to further our footballing goals”  Perhaps a bit long-winded, but admirable, especially in the City’s commitment to fans as “an obligation that the Club is privileged to shoulder.”
  • Barcelona FC mission: “Our task is to treat Sports as the principal point, to Endorse Catalonia via Barça, to emphasize Children and young people as main recipients, and to stimulate education and values.”  Brief and to the point. Both City and Barca closely idetify with their communities. And ya gotta love BFC’s Core Values: “We Are What We Eat; reassures the Mediterranean diet and healthy traditions.  We Are What We Respect; battles against racism and endorses tolerance. We Are What We Achieve; emboldens sport for disabled people.
  • New York Red Bulls vision:Build a lifelong connection between the club and community that transcends the sport. We have a mission of building a world class environment for our players and staff.” Echoes of Man City maybe?
  • Toronto FC mission: “BRING THE WORLD TO ITS FEET. Our Common Purpose: TO UNITE AND EMPOWER EMPLOYEES TO CREATE EXTRAORDINARY MOMENTS FOR OUR FANS AND EACH OTHER.”  It’s an unmistakably UPPER CASE mission for all of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, including MLB’s Blue Jays, NBA’s Raptors, NHL’s Maple Leafs and even the AHL’s Marlies. Literally, motivation in a nutshell for a sports juggernaut.
What should the Union’s new mission and vision be?

So with all this as background, what should the Union’s new mission, vision and core values be?

Assuming the Union front office reads PSP (Editor’s note: They do), here’s your chance to contribute your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Let the front office hear you.


  1. Play like a 6th place team today!

  2. “While some things are not possible…”

  3. “We got a 10, signed Accam and are playing a bunch of kids. What more do you want.”

  4. Hold on until league expansion ends.

  5. “You wanted a team. The league gave you a team. Now shut up and be happy about it.”

  6. el Pachyderm says:

    To carry forth in all our endeavors an attitude of local, national, and global excellence. To enact and inspire through tireless effort those values of: Unity. Inclusion. Love. Passion. Commitment. Leadership. Responsibility. this game manifests and represents within every enclave of our great city since it’s beginning, until today and ever forward.

  7. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Matt, if the image in the body of the text is the original statement you reference, and if it can be deciphered, might you consider posting the text, for historical interest and comparative purposes?

  8. The image shown is not the original mission/vision that once hung in the Chester end upper level club. It is instead a guide to the meaning of the symbols on the team’s shield. The original M/V statement was taken down I know not when. But supposedly it was removed because the FO wanted to rework it.

  9. Cliff of Union Despair says:

    Well it only seems apropos that we unveil our mission statement here as well.

    MS: “The Cliff of Union Despair is the preeminently imminent consolidation of every moment of being a supporter of the dear club. The CUD shall dispel hope, dethrone joy, and debilitate sanity at its every chance. It’s not because we care, its because we clearly don’t.”

    Alternate version:
    “One year contracts for everybody!”

    VS: “The Cliff of Union Despair will spread its shroud of thinly veiled effort to reach every corner of the globe, to amass the largest island of misfit toys known to man. This shroud shall be ever-accelerating (unlike CJ Sapong), multidimensional (unlike Medunjanin), needlessly stubborn (just like Curtin) until despair is the only pablum that will soothe you.”

    Alternate version:
    “Vincent Noguiera”

  10. Yup, these are our readers.

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