Tampa, Florida – The United Soccer League today announced the appointment of seasoned soccer executive Paul McDonagh as USL President and Chief Soccer Officer.
In his new role, McDonagh will lead the USL’s ongoing strategic efforts to improve the USL Championship, USL Super League and USL League 1 Pro League. He will focus on developing a strategic vision to evolve and implement his initiatives in USL business and sports, including groundbreaking competitive reforms to accelerate USL growth and transform American football. .
USL CEO Alec Papadakis said: His experience and knowledge of football in the United States and abroad is unparalleled as it relates to both field products and the business of sports. Paul takes the professional league to the next level. “Innovative sports reforms under consideration to bring the USL closer to the global game. The USL is working steadily to achieve this goal. Additionally, Paul’s keen business acumen and comprehensive expertise in the transfer market will greatly strengthen our team, academy, and with the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup just around the corner, Paul will be one of the world’s leading players in professional football. It will further strengthen USL’s position as a leader.”
USL President and Chief Football Officer Paul McDonagh said: The USL’s professional league has strong clubs, dedicated ownership, world-class infrastructure, avenues of emerging player development, and a passionate fan base. It’s exciting and interesting and we look forward to working with the entire USL ecosystem to move the league and business forward. ”
McDonough comes to the USL with over 20 years of experience in various leadership roles in American soccer. Most recently, Wasserman, the world leader in the sport of player’s representatives, held the position of chief his football officer.
Previously, he was Chief Operating Officer and Sports Director of Inter Miami CF, where he managed business operations and helped lead the club from its early stages through its first season. He played a key role in the club’s efforts to develop a football-dedicated stadium and world-class training complex.
In 2016, McDonough served as Vice President of Soccer Operations for Atlanta United FC and helped launch the expansion club in Major League Soccer in 2017. He was responsible for assembling Atlanta United’s starting roster, signing many MLS-winning players. The 2018 Cup and the 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
McDonough has USL experience, having served as General Manager of Orlando City SC in the 2014-15 USL PRO (now the USL Championship). In his first year, the team enjoyed a successful campaign, breaking multiple attendance records and finishing with the best regular season record. He led the club’s football operations while overseeing the building of an initial roster that included the likes of superstar Kaka and future Canadian national team Cyril Larin.
Like many top USL executives, McDonagh is immersed in the game beyond the front office. He has held assistant coaching roles at Wake His Forest College, the University of South Carolina, and the University of Connecticut.
In addition to his strategic business role, McDonagh will lead the USL’s sports division, previously managed by Sports Director Mark Cartwright. In 2021 he joined USL headquarters and his Cartwright recently departed to pursue other opportunities abroad. The USL wishes him all the best in his future endeavours.