DCU president and CEO steps down

DCU president and CEO steps down
November 27, 2012, 12:30 pm
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Kevin Payne talks about leaving D.C. United

D.C. United midfielder Dwayne De Rosario, left, poses for a photo with United President and C.E.O Kevin Payne after being named the 2011 MLS Most Valuable Player, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011

(AP Photo/Bret Hartman)

After 17 years with the club, D.C. United president and CEO Kevin Payne announced his resignation today.  

“Very few people in American soccer have put their stamp on a club as Kevin has with D.C. United,” said United Head Coach Ben Olsen. “His loyalty to the team and me is something for which I’ll always be indebted.”

Payne has served at the helm since United first came to the district in 1996. During his tenure the club became the most decorated MLS franchise, winning four MLS Cup titles.

“Kevin’s lengthy list of accomplishments speaks to his strong acumen as a leader,” said owner Jason Levien in a team statement. “His dedication to the organization deserves deep admiration and appreciation. As D.C. United begins a new chapter, Kevin's leadership has helped to prepare us for this important and potential-filled inflection point in the club’s history.”

During his time in D.C., Payne also earned honors and awards of his own, including the prestigious Werner Fricker Builder Award by U.S. Soccer in February 2011 for his work promoting soccer in the U.S.

“They say the only constant in life is change,” said Payne.  “For me, D.C. United has been like my child.  We brought the team into the D.C. and national sports world 17 years ago and every day since – good and bad – has been a labor of love.  This team has provided many great memories of championships and historic accomplishments, but I will best remember the people I've had the chance to meet, to work with, strive with, celebrate with, and sometimes to share disappointment with. 

“To the players, coaches, co-workers and fans, I can only say thank you so much for the great privilege of having been part of the D.C. United family.  It’s very difficult for me to express how I have felt, and still feel, about all of you.  I will forward a longer statement in the weeks to come to try to do a better job of thanking everyone for all they have meant to me. 

“I'm very excited about the next phase of my life, and very excited about the next phase for D.C. United, as well.  I know the leadership of the team will take it to new heights on, and off, the field.  I look forward to returning to RFK and wish everyone in the D.C. United family the best of luck.”