MLS Executive of the Year Manning departs RSL

First, head coach Jason Kreis left to become head coach at expansion New York City FC. Then, general manager Garth Lagerwey left to take a similar position at the Seattle Sounders. Now, president Bill Manning -- the MLS Executive of the Year in 2012 and 2014 -- has left Real Salt Lake at the end of his contract.

Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen announced that the MLS club will undergo a front-office restructuring after mutually agreeing to part ways Manning.

Manning played soccer -- he was a Division II All-American at Bridgeport and won the U.S. Open Cup with the Brooklyn Italians in 1991 -- and served as the general manager of MLS's Tampa Bay Mutiny until it folded after the 2001 MLS season. He worked with the NBA Houston Rockets and NFL Philadelphia Eagles before becoming RSL president in April 2008.

Manning received Major League Soccer’s Doug Hamilton Award as the Executive of the Year in 2012 and 2014. His four-year extension expired on July 1.

“Bill has obviously done an outstanding job building this club from its infancy, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Hansen, who joined the RSL ownership group in 2009 and became sole owner in January 2013, in a club statement.  “As we move into the second decade of our existence, our growing organization requires a different structure. As a result, several senior executives within our company will assume greater roles across various departments, with a focus on integration and expanding our ability to capture championships, on and off the field.”

RSL also operates Real Monarchs of the USL and RSL-AZ, the residency youth academy based in Casa Grande, Arizona. It has been mentioned as a possible future operator of a NWSL team. Talk of building a second soccer stadium in West Valley City has subsided.

RSL sits in ninth place in MLS's Western Conference and is in danger of missing out on the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
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