NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush is stepping down from his position. Plush replaced the inaugural commissioner Cheryl Bailey in 2015. As of this moment, it is unclear who will succeed him, or where Plush’s next adventure will take him.
— NWSL (@NWSL) March 2, 2017
The NWSL released the following press release upon breaking the news:
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today that Commissioner Jeff Plush has stepped down to pursue new opportunities. The NWSL will begin a national search for his replacement immediately.
“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 was named the commissioner of the NWSL on Jan. 6, 2015. During his tenure, Plush oversaw the continued overall growth of the league including the sale of the Western New York Flash to Steve Malik and North Carolina FC as well as the Orlando Pride joining as an expansion side in 2016. He was also instrumental in negotiating the partnership with A+E Networks, the three-year broadcast deal with Lifetime and the creation of NWSL Media. Where several previous attempts to operate a professional women’s league in the U.S. have fallen short, the NWSL will launch their fifth season of play in 10 cities on the weekend of April 15-16.
“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.”