CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 7, 2015) - US Club Soccer is proud to announce Kevin Payne as its new CEO, effective immediately. Payne, whose career includes 25 years of high-profile, executive leadership positions within U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer, adds invaluable expertise and experience to the US Club Soccer front office.
Bill Sage remains as US Club Soccer’s Executive Director.
Payne recently joined the organization as a senior consultant, increasing his familiarity with the nationwide landscape and enhancing US Club Soccer’s commitment to developing clubs and players.
“This is an exciting new chapter for me, and I’m intent on taking US Club Soccer to unprecedented heights,” Payne said. “We’ll continue to find new ways to grow and better our sport in every aspect, including player and club development, coaching education and administration.”
Payne’s resume is well documented among the top levels of the sport. Payne was hired as the National Administrator of U.S. Soccer in 1989 and soon after became its first Deputy Executive Director and Director of Marketing. Two years later, he was named Executive Vice President and eventually President of Soccer USA Partners, the marketing and game promotions partner of U.S. Soccer.
In 1994, he assembled the first ownership group for D.C. United and was a founding member of the MLS Board of Governors. When the MLS began in 1996, Payne also served as the President and General Manager of D.C. United.
The iconic franchise went on to appear in the first four MLS Cup championships, winning three times, in addition to capturing U.S. Open Cup (1996), CONCACAF Champions Cup (1998) and the InterAmerican Cup (1998) titles – the first major international trophies for any American club.
As Managing Director of Soccer for Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), Payne helped reorganize MLS in 2000 and became responsible for six of the 10 teams in the professional league.
Three years later, he returned to D.C. United and resumed his President and General Manager tenures. D.C. United subsequently won the MLS Cup the following year. The team went on to claim the 2006 and 2007 Supporters Shield for leading the league in points; and in 2008 and 2009, D.C. United made back-to-back Open Cup finals appearances, winning in 2008.
Payne served as a Board Member of the U.S. Soccer Federation from 1999-2014 and maintains his positions as Board Member and Vice Chairman of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, which he’s held since 1999. He also served on the MLS Board of Governors and the MLS Competition Committee from its inception until Sept. 2013.
He chaired the U.S. Soccer Technical Committee from 2007-13 and remains on the Technical Working Group. From 2009-12, Payne served on the FIFA Global Committee for Club Football.
“Adding Kevin to an already experienced staff is an important step for this organization,” US Club Soccer Chairman Phil Wright said. “He will provide additional leadership and direction in reaching our full potential.”
Payne now becomes CEO of US Club Soccer, which has experienced exponential, nationwide growth since its inception 13 years ago. This includes the implementation of key programming elements, such as the National Premier Leagues (NPL) platform, id² Program, National Cup series, DOC Diploma courses and more.
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ABOUT US CLUB SOCCER:
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer is an organization committed to the development and support of soccer clubs in the United States.
US Club Soccer offers youth and adult registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms at the recreational and competitive levels, as well as a variety of other programming, including the Olympic Development Program-sanctioned id2 Program and Player Development Programs.
Through US Club Soccer, all of a club’s programs – recreational, competitive and adult – are able to be united under one organizational umbrella, creating a “members for life” culture within each club. US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike.