In the hopes of ushering in a new and improved era for U.S. Soccer, the United States Soccer Federation named Will Wilson as the organization’s new CEO and secretary general on Monday. The hiring ends the months-long search for Dan Flynn’s replacement and Wilson brings over 25 years of experience in the sports industry.
Fluent in Spanish, Wilson received his MBA from the Tecnológico de Monterrey Graduate School of Business in Monterrey and worked as the Managing Director of NFL Mexico for four years. He spent the last eight years as executive vice president and co-head of football at Wasserman Media Group, where he signed his nephew Andrew Luck as the sports marketing agency’s first NFL client in 2012. Prior to that, he also served as executive vice president of international business and special events for Soccer United Marketing and Major League Soccer. Coincidentally, during his time at SUM, MLS and NFL Europe, Wilson worked closely with current MLS commissioner and USSF board member Don Garber.
The move to hire Wilson as CEO is the latest in a series of changes for the federation — last month, longtime U.S. Soccer executive Jay Berhalter stepped down as chief commercial and strategy officer. In 2017, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati opted not to run for re-election following the USMNT’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and Gulati was replaced by Carlos Cordeiro. Cordeiro resigned earlier this month following intense criticism regarding his comments and role in the lawsuit against USWNT players and a since-dropped legal filing which stated that the women”do not perform equal work requiring equal skill [and] effort” because “the overall soccer-playing ability required to compete at the senior men’s national team level is materially influenced by the level of certain physical attributes such as speed and strength.” Cordeiro was swiftly replaced by Cindy Parlow Cone, who became the first woman to hold the position.
Cone and Wilson, who will begin his duties on March 30, have a busy few months ahead of them as the USWNT equal pay lawsuit wraps up and federation works to win back the full support of its sponsors and the American public.