Amanda Duffy is stepping down as National Women’s Soccer League president after a year in the role to take up an executive position with NWSL team Orlando Pride, according to multiple reports.
Duffy joined the NWSL in January 2017 as managing director of operations, prior to being named managing director for the league in 2018. She took the role as league president in January 2019, becoming de facto commissioner almost two years after Jeff Plush stepped down as NWSL commissioner.
The NWSL is now holding a formal search for a full-time commissioner, and Duffy was believed to be in the running. According to one report, there was not consensus among NWSL owners about Duffy assuming the role. More details about her departure are expected on Tuesday (January 7).
Under Duffy’s leadership, the NWSL has capitalized on the spike in interest in women’s soccer following the Women’s World Cup last summer, which was won by the United States. This included a media-rights deal with ESPN until the end of the 2019 season, a sponsorship deal with Budweiser and an extension of the league’s partnership with kit manufacturer Nike until 2022.
In preparation of a move to operate independently of the United States Soccer Federation, which has been delayed until at least 2021, the NWSL appointed Octagon as a consultant to advise the league on its media- and marketing-rights strategy globally for the next three seasons.
The league also secured its first foreign majority owner, with OL Groupe, the parent company of French women’s soccer team Olympique Lyonnais Féminin, taking over Reign FC in a $3.51m deal. A team from Louisville and possibly Sacramento will join the league in 2021.