Cheryl Bailey, USSoccer

CHICAGO (Nov. 18, 2014) – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today that Executive Director Cheryl Bailey will be leaving following two years as the head of the Division 1 women’s professional soccer league. Following the completion of a national search for her replacement, Bailey will step down from her position but will serve as a consultant to assist with the transition.

“It was important for me to give back to the sport that has given me so much, so I accepted this endeavor with the objective of starting a new league and creating a successful organization,” Bailey said. “I have committed myself 100 percent in order to achieve this goal, but now is the time for me to step away.”

“I would like to thank Sunil Gulati, Dan Flynn, the NWSL owners, the federations, general managers, coaches, and staffs for their support and cooperation during these two years, without which we would not have been able to build this League,” Bailey added. “And as always, the players are the ones who truly make this successful as consummate professionals and great role models for the fans.”

Bailey was named the executive director of the NWSL on Nov. 29, 2012. She oversaw the launch of the new professional league in less than five months leading up to the beginning of the inaugural season in April 2013. Bailey led and managed all areas of League marketing, operations, public relations, sponsorship and competition.

“On behalf of everyone involved in the NWSL, I would like to sincerely thank Cheryl for her commitment and dedication,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said. “Her leadership was influential in the launch of the league and she provided a wealth of knowledge and experience that was important to guiding the league during the last two years. We wish her all of the best in her future endeavors.”

“We are now in the process of a national search for a qualified candidate to take over the helm and to continue the current path of growth and development of the NWSL into a sustainable league featuring some of the best players in the world,” Gulati added. “We are also very thankful that Cheryl will remain with the League through the transition process and the integration of a new executive director.”

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is a nine-team Division-I women’s professional soccer league featuring national team players from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The nine clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash.

Based in Chicago, the NWSL is supported by the Canadian Soccer Association, Federation of Mexican Football and the United States Soccer Federation. For more information about the NWSL, log on to the league’s official website at