will be stepping down as president of the NASL's Puerto Rico FC when his contract expires at the end of November.
The former LA Galaxy president guided PRFC, owned by
basketball star Carmelo Anthony
, through its first two seasons in the NASL. The first season began in the fall half of the 2016 NASL campaign. In 2017, PRFC had to finish the season on the road
on the mainland as Puerto Rico was wrecked by Hurricane Maria.
"I am extremely grateful," Payne said, "for the opportunity that ownership gave me to be the first-ever president of Puerto
Rico FC, and to build this entire club from scratch. It has been an amazing experience and one that I will always remember fondly, but I feel that now is the time to move on and search for the
next challenge in my professional career."
Puerto Rico FC plays in Bayamon, at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, home of the Islanders, the first NASL team. It averaged 3,401 fans a game in
2017 and had its final five home games played as away games after Hurricane Maria hit.
How PRFC recovers in 2018 remains to be seen. Like elsewhere on Puerto Rico, Bayamon was hit hard by
Hurricane Maria. In October, unemployment claims in Bayamon were triple what they were a year ago
when the island
was already struggling economically.