US Club Soccer’s Board of Directors (BOD) made the following Officer- and Executive Committee-related appointments, effective today:
As a result, Mike Cullina moves into the Immediate Past Chairperson’s seat through June 30, 2021, after which he will join US Club Soccer’s staff in advance of becoming the next CEO/Executive Director, following Kevin Payne’s retirement.
Additionally, Phil Wright’s term as Immediate Past Chairperson, and therefore his tenure on the BOD, has now concluded. Wright has volunteered his time on the BOD since its inception in 2001, serving as Chairperson from 2003 to 2018.
The Board of Directors is currently comprised of 12 members with extensive leadership, coaching and soccer experience, as follows (with term expirations in parentheses):
Chairperson | Gary Buete:
Buete is the Chairperson and an Executive Committee member of the BOD. He is also the CEO of North Carolina FC Youth and former Executive Director of Baton Rouge Soccer Club for 14 years. He joined the nation’s largest youth soccer organization in 2014 and oversaw the merger of Capital Area Soccer League and Triangle Futbol Club Alliance – now known as North Carolina FC Youth.
Buete earned a degree in exercise physiology from Lander University in 1994. He continued his education at East Tennessee State University, earning a master’s degree in sports management in 1996. He has served more than 22 years of club leadership and coaching experience at various levels and holds a U.S. Soccer National ‘A’ License.
“I would like to thank the board for their trust and confidence as the next Chairperson of the Board of Directors for US Club Soccer,” said Buete. “It is an honor to work alongside so many great soccer professionals from across the country and a talented staff that works tirelessly to grow and improve the game at all levels. I want to thank Mike Cullina for his exceptional leadership during his tenure and I am excited for the future.”
Immediate Past Chairperson | Mike Cullina:
Cullina is the Immediate Past Chairperson and an Executive Committee member of the BOD. He is the former Executive Director of Prince William Soccer and Virginia Development Academy, the former President of the Virginia NPL Board of Directors and the former Boys Director of Coaching and Tournament Director of Ohio Elite Soccer Academy. Cullina has significant coaching experience and holds a U.S. Soccer National ‘A’ License. Cullina will begin his transition into US Club Soccer’s CEO/Executive Director position on July 1.
“It has been an honor to serve as Chairperson of a Board of Directors filled with the top leaders in our sport,” said Cullina. “I am thrilled the board elected Gary as Chairperson and Eddie, Tim and Shannon to the Executive Committee. Our partnership will continue to move the game forward and build on the organization’s tremendous success and momentum. On behalf of US Club Soccer, I would like to recognize and thank Phil Wright for his dedication to this organization and its members since the very beginning.”
Vice Chairperson | Eddie Henderson:
Henderson is the Vice Chairperson and an Executive Committee member of the BOD. He is also the Technical Director of ISC Gunners FC and a scout for the U.S. Soccer Federation and staff coach for the id2 Program. He played collegiately for the University of Washington and professionally in the NPSL, APSL and MSL from 1988-99. He appeared on the U-17, U-18 and U-20 U.S. Soccer Youth National Teams, including the 1987 U-20 World Cup team. Henderson has over 20 years of coaching experience at various levels and holds a U.S. Soccer National ‘A’ License.
“I am honored and privileged to serve as the Vice Chairperson for US Club Soccer,” said Henderson. “I accept the responsibility and will strive to exceed all expectations from US Club Soccer and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve and help the organization in this expanded role.”
Secretary | Tim Lesiak:
Lesiak, the Secretary and an Executive Committee member of US Club Soccer’s BOD in addition to his role as a Regional Board Director – Midwest. He is also the Director of Coaching for the Ohio Elite Soccer Academy. Before that, the U.S. Soccer A-licensed coach Lesiak spent eight years as the Director of Coaching for the Cardinal Soccer Club. He played collegiately for the University of Cincinnati, where he earned All-Mid East Region honors twice, before continuing his playing career professionally with the Cincinnati Cheetahs in the USISL.
“I am very excited to once again be elected as the US Club Soccer Board of Directors Executive Committee Secretary,” said Lesiak. “It is an honor to work alongside some of the best soccer minds in the business who truly put players first in all decisions.”
Non-officer Executive Committee Member | Shannon Cirovski:
Cirovski, the Director of Coaching for Bethesda SC (Md.), was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2002. She was a midfielder for the U.S. Women’s National Team, earning 51 caps from 1987-91, and she assisted on both goals of the team’s 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final triumph. Cirovski had head coaching stints with George Washington University, University of Maryland and the U.S. U-18 WNT.
“I am honored to continue in my role on the Board of Directors Executive Committee,” said Cirovski. “I believe in the mission and values of US Club Soccer and look forward to continuing to push for the betterment of the game.”
Regional Board Director – Southern Region | Hue Menzies:
Menzies, the Executive Director of Florida Kraze Krush, brings more than 35 years of coaching experience to the US Club Soccer BOD. As head coach, Menzies led the Jamaica WNT to its first-ever berth in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019. Before moving to Florida, Menzies was one of the founders of the Lonestar Soccer Association (Texas) and Director of Coaching for the Warrior Soccer Association (Texas).
“First, I would like to congratulate the other new appointments to the Board of Directors,” said Menzies. “I am privileged to be serving in one of the Southeast Regional seats for the next three years. I plan on continuing to serve this board for the betterment of the game and to assist in pushing the organization forward.”
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