Downs named first commissioner

[NASL] Former television executive David Downs, who served as executive director of the USA Bid Committee in its unsuccessful campaign to host the 2022 World Cup, has been named the commissioner of the North American Soccer League, the Division 2 league that begins its first season of play on April 9.

Downs, who will assume his new role on April 4, spent more than 30 years in the broadcast industry as an executive with both ABC Sports and Univision Communications. He was instrumental in securing the U.S. television rights to every World Cup from USA 1994 through Brazil 2014.

"I'm excited to hit the ground running with the NASL as we work to elevate second division soccer in North America and play an active role in taking soccer to the next level in the region," said Downs. "We plan to work closely with the fans, players, administrators, other leagues and everyone else involved in this beautiful game to build up the NASL at a league and local market level."

The NASL will begin play in eight cities, including Montreal, which will move to NASL in 2012.

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