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Dan Flynn steps down as US Soccer CEO as Relevent Sports files antitrust lawsuit

Dan Flynn is officially leaving his role as chief executive of the United States Soccer Federation on September 16, the governing body has announced.

Flynn revealed earlier this year that he will be stepping down from the post. The 64-year-old is expected to take up a formal role with the St. Louis Major League Soccer expansion team.

USSF chief stakeholder officer Brian Remedi will take over interim responsibilities in his new role as the chief administrative officer.

Chief commercial officer Jay Berhalter, the brother of US men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter, has been widely tipped as Flynn’s successor.

However, it seems likely that US Soccer will seek an outside candidate after a number of its employees posted a series of anonymous scathing reviews about the federation earlier this year, blaming Flynn and Jay Berhalter for creating a “toxic” work culture.

The new chief executive will take over an organization hit with multiple lawsuits in recent years, including one from the US women’s national team, which is seeking equal pay and working conditions with their male counterparts.

On September 9, promoter Relevent Sports filed an antitrust lawsuit against US Soccer in the Southern District of New York, alleging that the federation has conspired with global governing body Fifa and Soccer United Marketing – the commercial arm of Major League Soccer – to block official matches from foreign clubs being held on US soil.

Relevent is looking to stage official LaLiga matches in the US following a long-term partnership with the Spanish soccer league. A planned match between FC Barcelona and Girona at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium in January 2019 was cancelled after widespread opposition from various stakeholders.

In April 2019, US Soccer also denied Relevent’s application to host a match between two Ecuadorian clubs.

Relevent Sports chief executive Daniel Sillman told the Wall Street Journal: “For decades the U.S. has shared its professional sports leagues with fans from all corners of the globe while the USSF has deprived our fans from seeing the highest level of soccer. Why? Because USSF is working with Fifa to shield SUM, who promotes its own games, from any competitive threat.”