Soccer Camp Ignores Millions of Americans to Exploit H-1B Soccer Coaches

By David North on May 25, 2016

While Mitt Romney has suggested that marrying Donald Trump is a job Americans won't do (66.67 percent of his wives, to date, have been foreign-born), playing soccer does not fall into that category.

Wikipedia says that 24 million Americans were playing soccer in 2006, while another source, Statista, puts the number at 14.74 million in 2015. In short, millions and millions.

Let's assume that no more than one out of 500 of the players (0.2 percent) is good enough to coach others; using the Wikipedia numbers, we would still have 48,000 potential coaches. Using the other source there would be 29,480 potential soccer workers. If we assumed that 1 percent of the players were good enough to be coaches, there would be a work force of close to a quarter of a million to choose from.

Ashley's Soccer Camp in Montclair, N.J., prefers to ignore these numbers and, as a result, hired a dozen foreign H-1B coaches at promised salaries of $18,000 to $55,000 a year. The camp did not, in fact, pay the coaches at the promised rates and, as a consequence, has been hauled into a Department of Labor administrative court and has agreed to pay back wages of $175,000 to the foreign coaches, as well as a $10,000 administrative fine according to this paywall-blocked article

Note that the soccer camp — presumably a string of them under the same management — was not zapped by Labor for hiring the aliens when oodles of Americans would have been available for those jobs — it was caught for paying them less than promised.

It is not clear to me why soccer coaches, who clearly do not need college degrees, could be recruited within the H-1B program; that is a program for highly skilled workers, usually college grads (or models). As a matter of fact, a search through DoL documents shows that Ashley's Soccer Camp had previously been in trouble with the Department for something it had done in the H-2B program for unskilled workers, apparently having recruited alien soccer coaches through that program, as this case before an administrative law judge indicates. In that 2013 case it paid $8,281.20 in civil penalties for ill deeds not described in the final order.

One employer being formally punished by the Department for lapses in two very different foreign worker programs, each dealing with exactly the same job title, may be some kind of record.