1 min read

Season 4, Episode 181

USL Players participate in an innovative mental health program



Guest Name:

Connor Tobin

Guest Website:


Guest Social Media:





Supportive Documents:

Executive Director for the United Soccer League Players Association, Connor Tobin, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about an innovative mental health program with Onrise Care for professional soccer players. Tobin also talked about the unique services offered and why the program is an improvement over team-issued sports psychologists.

The USLPA began after Tobin and a group of older players worked together to bring workplace safety to the lower soccer leagues in America. Together they partnered with the Communication Workers of America, and the USLPA was formed in 2018 after being voluntarily recognized by the league. Negotiations took longer, as there was no blueprint for organizing a multi-tiered soccer league. Tobin described their difficulties and how the USLPA got to the point of representing over 800 players in two divisions of USL Soccer with the first contract ratified in 2021.

The need for mental health services became obvious to the former players now leading the USLPA and eventually resulted in a partnership with Onrise Care. The players' daily lives presented a unique set of challenges, with constant travel, unknown futures and major injuries among the primary problems. Together with Onrise, they searched for a solution. In May, a pilot mental health program began, the program provides players access to the best resources available, wherever and whenever they need them. Tobin said the program has been well-received by players, and if any problems arise, they will work together to fix them.

While each team has its own sports psychologists, they don’t necessarily provide the same level of care and anonymity players desire. When comparing the services and resources of Onrise to what the team’s psychologists can provide, the benefits of the new program became apparent. The biggest difference is the speed of care available to players, as they have a 100 percent response rate to any request by players. As the program continues to develop, Tobin believes players will see even more benefits.

Press play to learn more about the innovative mental health program for USLPA players.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

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