FIFA Master Alumni shine at the first Princeton Soccer Conference

The first ever Princeton Soccer Conference, which was supported by the FIFA Master Alumni Association, was held last weekend, on 7-8 December, at the prestigious Princeton University, in New Jersey, USA.

Within the support provided by the FMA to the organisers, was the opportunity to identify and put forth a several prominent speakers from among our members.

The event featured other prominent names in football (or soccer), such as Charlie Stillitano, Chairman of Relevent Sports, the organisers of the friendly tournament International Champions Cup, Sunil Gulati, former president of the US Soccer Federation, Stefan Szymanski, best-selling author of Soccernomics, Yael Averbuch, former US Women’s National Team player, and many others. 

Among the FMA highlighted was Court Jeske (FMA’04), Executive Vice President of the United Soccer League (USL) who opened the event, on Saturday morning, with a powerful keynote speech, and then sat on a panel with Stillitano and Grant Wahl, from Sports Illustrated, to debate about the future of soccer in America. Between sessions, Court received the FMA Award for Most Impressive Career Move, awarded to him by popular vote by the FMA members earlier this year..

In the afternoon, Betsy Maxfield (FMA’03), Director of Player Care at Sporting Kansas City FC, talked about the growth of player care in US soccer.

After lunch, FMA Committee president, Martin Kaswurm (FMA’14), presented about the FIFA Master and the Alumni Association.

Later, Joao Frigerio (FMA’05), FMA’s Executive Director, moderated a panel with representatives from the MLS, Verizon, the telecom company, and Nolan Partners, the executive search firm, about career in sport.

On Sunday, Andres Gonzalez (FMA’03), VP of Partnerships at the New York City FC, presented interesting ways of how to drive brand and business objectives through soccer. Lastly, Fernando Roitman (FMA’15), Founder of the CIES Sports Intelligence compared the US and Europe’s football business models.

A former FIFA Master guest lecturer, Chuck Korr, also was invited, and made a presentation about the importance of football at Robben Island, during the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

In all, the event was a great success but moreover this new partnership provided our Alumni with the opportunity to be promoted as some of the best minds in the industry and it gave a positive platform for our association.

Finally, we'd like to thank and congratulate Jonathan Hopcroft and Ben Clarke for the organisation of the event.