NWSL names longtime sports executive Marla Messing as interim CEO

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The National Women’s Soccer League called long-tenured sports executive Marla Messing as interim CEO in a statement on Monday. The choice is the very first and last significant hire the recently formed NWSL executive committee will make. 

The committee, made up of 3 ladies representing 3 franchises — Amanda Duffy (Orlando Pride), Angie Long (KC NWSL), and Sophie Sauvage (OL Reign) — dealt with the board of guvs to make the brand-new hire and will now liquify as Messing handles the brand-new interim CEO function.   

The executive committee was at first formed after the departure and resignation of Lisa Baird as NWSL commissioner in wake of a turbulent duration which included numerous scandals throughout the league, consisting of claims of sexual browbeating and abuse by previous North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley and an examination of office toxicity including the Washington Spirit

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The board launched the following declaration:

“Marla is a well-respected and highly experienced sports industry executive and we are pleased to welcome her to the league. Her extensive background and passion to see the NWSL succeed serve as a strong foundation for her leadership and for navigating significant decisions moving forward to improve our policies and culture. We will assist Marla throughout her transition as she takes on the current responsibilities of the executive committee. On behalf of the board of governors, we look forward to working alongside her and together with our players developing a better path forward for the NWSL.”

Messing was formerly the CEO of United States Tennis Association Southern California from 2019 to 2021. She has a comprehensive background in sports that consists of stints as vice president and executive director of the 2024/2028 Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Bid Committee, and as a specialist to Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC and FC Barcelona in 2018. Her experience in ladies’s soccer is significant as the previous president and CEO of the 1999 Women’s World Cup for United States Soccer, perhaps thought about among the introducing pads for the appeal of the sport for ladies in the United States.

Messing is anticipated to enter the brand-new position to manage the everyday operations and deal with the board of guvs to perform essential efforts that league just recently revealed after NWSL Players Association presented a list of needs after reports of sexual misbehavior and harassment from previous head coach Paul Riley were released. The efforts are intended to “promote actionable, sustainable change and measurable progress across the league.”

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