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US Club Soccer’s Kevin Payne Elected to Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame

24 Jun, 2019


US Club Soccer– a prominent member of the U.S. Soccer Federation and the leading organization developing soccer clubs across America – announces CEO Kevin Payne has been elected to the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame.

Payne, US Club Soccer’s CEO since 2015, and 10 other honorees will be inducted in a special ceremony on June 23 at Nationals Park prior to the Washington Nationals baseball game. The 2017-18 Washington Capitals, reigning National Hockey League Stanley Cup champions, have been named DC Sports Hall of Fame’s first-ever Team of Distinction.

The 2019 Hall of Fame class also includes:

  • Andrew Beyer, Washington Post horse racing columnist
  • Tom Brown, former professional football and baseball player
  • Sasho Cirovski, University of Maryland men’s soccer coach
  • Tom Dolan, U.S. Olympic swimming champion
  • Danny Ferry, former professional basketball player
  • Ray Flaherty, late Washington Redskins coach
  • Charles Mann, Washington Redskins Pro Bowl defensive end
  • Cathy Reese, University of Maryland women’s lacrosse coach
  • Allie Ritzenberg, late tennis instructor and player

“Being part of this 2019 class inducted into the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor,” Payne says. “I can’t really express my appreciation to the players, coaches, staff, and especially the supporters who made DC United the standard bearer for MLS Soccer during my time as President and CEO. It was a very special time, and this recognition brings many great memories back into clear focus for me and my family, who deserve most of any credit that has been given to me over the years.”

Payne’s career includes more than 25 years of high-profile, executive leadership positions with U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer. He was instrumental in establishing DC United in Major League Soccer and in the Washington sports market. Payne served as the organization’s first president and CEO, leading the team to four MLS Cup championships (1996, 1997, 1999, 2004), a CONCACAF Champions Cup (1997), three U.S. Open Cups (1996, 2008, 2013) and the Supporters’ Shield four occassions (1997, 1999, 2006, 2007). Payne also served as a Board Member of the U.S. Soccer Federation (1999-2014), and is the Vice Chairman of the U.S. Soccer Foundation (1999-present).

One of Payne’s primary tasks when taking over as CEO of US Club Soccer was to positively reshape the U.S. youth soccer landscape. Backed by Nike, LaLiga and numerous other partners, Players First was established and is recognized as the seal of approval for clubs nationwide. The Players First philosophy is anchored by five pillars: Club Development; Coaching Development; Player Development; Parent Engagement & Education; and Player Health & Safety.

Nationally, 59 organizations across 21 states have received Players First-Licensed Clubs distinction so far. As youth soccer’s “Good Housekeeping Seal,” the clubs immediately take this newfound recognition into their communities and nationally, standing out as pioneers in improving the club soccer experience.

About US Club Soccer: A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.

Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.

US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.

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