USSF, MLS exec Kevin Payne named CEO of US Club Soccer
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Via US Club Soccer) – US Club Soccer has announced Kevin Payne as its new CEO, effective immediately.
Payne’s career includes 25 years of executive leadership positions within U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer. He recently joined the US Club Soccer front office as a senior consultant. Bill Sage remains as US Club Soccer’s Executive Director.
“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 grown significantly since its inception 13 years ago. This includes the implementation of programs such as the National Premier Leagues (NPL) platform, id2 Program, National Cup series and DOC Diploma courses.