The U.S. Soccer Federation has announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Will Wilson, will step down. Wilson, who has worked as both U.S. Soccer’s CEO and Secretary General, is set to leave the position on October 31, 2022 “to pursue new professional ventures and opportunities.” Between now and that October date, Wilson will continue as acting CEO and Secretary General while the federation heads a search for his replacement.
“It has been an honor to work with the U.S. Soccer board and the dedicated executives and staff at the Federation, and especially with Cindy Parlow Cone, during this pivotal time in sports and for the organization,” Wilson said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. “My goal has always been to make sure the Federation was in a better place than when I started, and I’m stepping away knowing that the organization is positioned for continued long-term global success.”
Wilson was appointed to the position in 2020, following the retirement of long-time CEO Dan Flynn the year prior. . Prior to his time as USSF CEO, Wilson served as a Vice President with Wasserman, a sports agency. Prior to that, he spent time working with Major League Soccer and with Major League Soccer’s media arm, Soccer United Marketing (SUM).
Over the course of the past two years, Wilson was heavily involved in transforming the federation in many ways. U.S. Soccer ended its involvement with the Development Academy system, financially restructured, resolved a number of lawsuits (including the USWNT equal pay suit), announced the decision to split from SUM and have the federation market its own broadcasting rights, and signed a joint collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the USMNT and USWNT that equalizes both pay and World Cup bonuses.
The timing of Wilson’s decision to step aside is a bit surprising. He will formally leave the federation just 3 weeks before the start of the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar. On the other hand, the recent announcement of the joint CBA means Wilson will be leaving the federation in the strongest position it’s been in for years. Whomever his successor turns out to be will come into the position with a strong hand.