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Amanda Duffy stepping down as NWSL president

Photo Copyright Lewis Gettier for The Equalizer

Amanda Duffy is stepping down as president of the National Women’s Soccer League after one season in charge to become the executive vice president of the Orlando Pride, the club confirmed on Tuesday. Duffy will stay on as president through Feb. 15 before immediately transitioning to her role with the Pride.

Duffy will be in charge of all operations for the Pride, “both front office and technical,” according to the team. That will include hiring and overseeing additional staff members for the Pride. She will report directly to Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão.

Duffy was promoted to president on Jan. 15, 2019. She joined the NWSL in December 2017 as managing director of operations and became managing director in 2018.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the growth and development of the NWSL,” she said in a statement. “The league has made significant strides over the last three years and I look forward to its continued development as the global destination for our world class athletes and passionate fans.”

Duffy was considered a potential candidate for the vacant NWSL commissioner job, a role which has not been filled since Jeff Plush left in March 2017.

A more earnest search for a league commissioner only recently began, after a long stretch of inactivity over the uncertainty regarding what the role would entail. League owners expected more autonomy in 2020 — which would ostensibly give a commissioner more power — but U.S. Soccer is once again expected to manage the league as the federation and NWSL owners try to come to some agreement over their relationship moving forward.

The Pride will hope to improve upon a last-place finish in 2019. Erik Ustruck, who served as general manager in 2019, will transition back to the men’s side with Orlando City SC once Duffy arrives, seemingly ceding those responsibilities to Duffy.

“When we decided to invest in this position, we knew we wanted to bring in someone who not only has a strong understanding of the current landscape of women’s soccer but someone who has a proven record of building exciting, successful clubs and we couldn’t think of a more perfect fit than Amanda,” Leitão said. “We have been working closely with Amanda for years and have seen all that she has been able to accomplish, from her days in the USL and Louisville to her most recent time with the NWSL. We are so excited that she has chosen to come to Orlando and that she shares our vision of the potential of women’s soccer in this country and wants to be a part of building the future of the game as a member of the Pride.”

Duffy joined the NWSL after two years with USL club Louisville City FC as general manager and president. She joined the Louisville City front office after seven years at the USL league office, including several in charge of the now defunct W-League.

Major changes still loom for the NWSL

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