Paul McDonough new USL President and Chief Soccer Officer

Replacing Jake Edwards at United Soccer League: experienced soccer executive Paul McDonough is the new USL President and Chief Soccer Officer, as the organization makes a series of personnel shifts.

In his new role, McDonough will lead the USL’s ongoing strategic efforts to elevate our professional leagues: the USL Championship, USL Super League, and USL League One. He will focus on laying out the strategic vision for evolving and implementing the USL’s business and sporting initiatives, including innovative competition reforms that will accelerate our growth and transform soccer in America.

McDonough joins the USL with more than 20 years of experience in a variety of leadership roles in American soccer. Most recently, he held the position of Chief Soccer Officer at Wasserman, the sport’s global leader in player representation. 

Previously, McDonough served as Chief Operating Officer and Sporting Director at Inter Miami CF, where he managed business operations and helped lead the club from its nascent phase through its inaugural season. McDonough has previous experience with the USL, having served as Orlando City SC’s General Manager when the club was in USL PRO (now USL Championship) in 2014-15.

In addition to his strategic business role, Paul McDonough will lead the USL’s sporting department, previously managed by Sporting Director Mark Cartwright. Cartwright, who joined the USL headquarters in 2021, has recently departed to pursue other opportunities abroad.

Justin Papadakis has been named USL Deputy CEO, effective immediately, in addition to his current roles as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Real Estate Officer. As Deputy CEO, Papadakis will: 

  • expand his role in setting and implementing the USL’s overall strategic direction as the organization enters a new phase of rapid growth for the USL and for soccer in America. 
  • continue with his leadership role in building the enterprise business and financial health of the league and the clubs, including overseeing USL HQ’s commercial, expansion, business intelligence, legal, human resources, and other departments. 
  • continue to drive the USL’s stadium development efforts and oversee a new division at USL HQ to support stadium projects, training facility development, and other infrastructure initiatives. 

Dan Holman has been promoted to Deputy COO and tasked with boosting the USL’s ongoing expansion efforts and operational optimization. In his new role, Holman will manage a recently formed business intelligence unit, as well as internal groups focused on expansion, strategy, and digital products.  

Cory Bernstine has been elevated to Senior Vice President of Strategy. Since joining the USL in 2021, Bernstine has developed multiple broad-based business strategies that have driven increased relevance, fandom, competition, and revenue.   

RELATED STORIES: Jake Edwards departs United Soccer League

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