U.S. Soccer appoints Wilson as CEO
Just days after the resignation of president Carlos Cordeiro, the federation has announced a major hire
Just 11 days after unveiling a new president, U.S. Soccer has announced a major hire for a key role within the federation.
U.S. Soccer confirmed on Monday that the federation has hired William Wilson as its new chief executive officer and secretary general. Wilson’s hiring fills a position of need for U.S. Soccer as he steps in to replace longtime-CEO Dan Flynn, stepped down from the position in September of 2019 while ending a near 20-year tenure.
The 52-year-old Wilson comes to U.S. Soccer with a extensive resume in sports, having most recently worked for global agency Wasserman, where he served as executive vice president and co-head of football. In addition, Wilson was previously Executive Vice President of International Business & Special Events for Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing from 2008-12.
“I’m very excited to be joining U.S Soccer,” said Wilson in a statement. “I have always admired the Federation from afar and have long felt that the U.S. Soccer crest is one of the best brands in the business. There is nothing like harnessing our nation’s support behind our Women’s and Men’s National Teams, and I see significant upside in our ability to work with our Membership to grow participation levels, increase our commercial business and drive our ability to compete on the field at the highest level.”
He added: “U.S. Soccer has an amazing fan base and our supporters are waiting for us to get things back on track both on and off the field. I’m incredibly energized and excited about the work in front of us to continue striving to become America’s preeminent sport.”
With Wasserman, Wilson was part of the launch of the company’s NFL representation with the signing of Andrew Luck, who went on to earn what was, at the time, the largest contract in the sport’s history. Wilson is a NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor, with U.S. Soccer stating that he has ” a deep understanding of labor issues as well as working within the constructs of a Collective Bargaining Agreement.”
The federation is currently part of a major lawsuit regarding equal pay with the U.S. women’s national team. Carlos Cordeiro, the federation’s former president, was forced to resign in recently after court documents stated the federation’s position that there is a fundamental difference in “overall soccer playing ability” between the USMNT and USWNT, adding that the position is not “a sexist stereotype” but rather “indisputable science”. He has since been replaced by former USWNT midfielder and former U.S. Soccer VP Cindy Parlow Cone.
Wilson, who is fluent in Spanish, managed all international business relationships during his time with MLS/SUM, including deals FC Barcelona, Manchester United, the Concacaf Gold Cup and the Mexican national team.
“We are thrilled Will is joining U.S. Soccer as our CEO,” said Cone. “He brings an unrivaled set of experience and expertise to soccer in America. His global perspective, background in marketing and growing sporting events and extensive experience in the sports business will be invaluable in growing soccer at all levels. Soccer is the world’s game and Will is the perfect person to help us grow it to America’s game.”