Statement by American Youth Soccer Organization on arrest of Jose Diaz

Torrance, CA - American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) is dismayed by the recent allegations that resulted in the arrest of Jose Diaz for alleged sex crimes against a child. Although we have not received any information indicating that the charges involved any AYSO players, we are nonetheless working closely with law enforcement to address this situation. AYSO can confirm that Mr. Diaz has served as an AYSO volunteer since 2005.

It is AYSO’s policy to immediately suspend a volunteer charged with such actions from all AYSO activities pending the outcome of the case. In this situation, we took this step and suspended all AYSO privileges immediately upon being notified of the allegations.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are also reaching out to our players’ families and encouraging them to contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriffs, 1-805-737-4171, directly if they believe that they have any relevant information that may assist in the investigation.

We are saddened any time we learn of a situation like this in any youth sports organization. It is for this reason that AYSO was among the first youth sports organizations to implement a program to raise awareness of creating and maintaining a safe environment for youth players. Key components of this program include educating all volunteers through our nationally recognized Safe Haven training program and a robust background check process.

AYSO has over 500,000 players and more than 100,000 volunteers across the nation. Our priority continues to be to offer world class soccer programs that enrich children’s lives in a safe, fun, family environment.