Since 2017, when Jeff Plush resigned from the role of league commissioner, the National Women's Soccer League has not had an official head for close to two years now. Yesterday, that changed as the NWSL Board announced that Amanda Duffy is now the President of the NWSL.
Duffy will now take over most of the duties that the commissioner has had to fulfill including the league's day-to-day operations and will work with the league's owners to continue to grow the NWSL as a professional league.
Duffy and the owners welcome the new direction in leadership for the NWSL
Amanda Duffy released a statement once her appointment had been made public, thanking the NWSL Board for their vote of confidence in her. Duffy felt that the league had made "significant strides over the past six seasons" due to the talent on show, the owners and the commitment of everyone involved at an administration level for the NWSL. Duffy also thanked the sponsors, the media and the fans for their continued support of the league as they have all helped to "built an outstanding foundation" for the NWSL to grow from.
The North Carolina Courage owner and Executive Committee Chair, Steve Malik, also released a statement on behalf of the owners regarding Duffy's new role. Malik believed that Duffy had been "instrumental in operating the league as Managing Director" due to her experience and talent, and that as the league looked forward, they believed that Duffy is a "great fit for taking the league to the next level".
Duffy has become the face of the league since 2017
Amanda Duffy joined the NWSL in January 2017 as Managing Director of Operations and was named Managing Director in 2018. Duffy also also has a seat on the NWSL Media Board of Directors which she currently still retains. During that period she became the face of a league without a designated head and helped the NWSL put together not only the commercial arm of the league, NWSL Media, but also brought in the partnership between the NWSL and A+E Networks which led to nationally televised matches every week during the 2018 season.
Before joining the NWSL, Amanda Duffy worked with Louisville City FC in the United Soccer League (USL) as a vice president of operations in 2014 before being made the General Manager in the same year and then being named as President a year later. Duffy also has experience working at the USL headquarters in administrative, strategic and management roles.
Duffy has all the right tools to push the growth and development of the NWSL forward, and although there have been low points during her time in the league, her positives have been fruitful. Currently, the one issue many fans would like to see addressed is that of Sky Blue FC which has been marred in controversy since last year. The team has such a negative outlook that players who had been drafted by Sky Blue have seemingly declined to report for them this year and are seeking opportunities elsewhere. Current players for Sky Blue have also looked to be traded away or signed by other teams, or just flat out retired to avoid having to play for the team this season. Duffy will have to address this issue at some point and in a way that will appease both fans and players alike.
Quotes via NWSLSoccer.com