As the NWSL enters its fifth season of play in April, the league will be searching for a new commissioner after current leader Jeff Plush stepped down.
The league announced on Thursday that Plush has opted to leave his position as commissioner in order to pursue new opportunities. Plush had been in charge of the NWSL since taking over in Jan. 2015.
“As commissioner over the past two seasons, Jeff Plush has been integral in the stability and rise of NWSL, and his body of work will provide his successor an excellent blue print to follow in the years ahead,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said. “We will immediately explore candidates to succeed Jeff, who will leave as a friend and with great respect from all of us at U.S. Soccer and the NWSL.”
“It has been a privilege to play a role in the growth and promise of the NWSL, and especially so when I think of the talented and committed individuals I’ve worked with who will continue to dedicate themselves to the women’s game and this truly amazing league,” said Plush. “I thank Dan Flynn, Sunil Gulati, team owners and the players for their trust and belief in me as a steward of their league and our game. I now look forward to my next adventure with the comfort in knowing NWSL is in a great place today, with even better days ahead.”
Plush oversaw a large growth in the league over the past two seasons, setting new records in attendance each of the past two seasons. He also oversaw the move of 2016 NWSL champions the Western New York Flash to North Carolina, where the team will continue operations under new owner Steve Malik. Additionally, Plush oversaw the addition of the Orlando City Pride to the growing league, and negotiated the league’s new TV deal with A+E Networks.