Colorado Rapids hire Ena Patel, making her highest-ranking female MLS executive on technical side

The Colorado Rapids named San Francisco-based attorney Ena Patel as their new director of player personnel, making her highest-ranking female MLS executive on technical side.

Patel, who was a tax associate at Baker McKenzie, will handle player contracts, salary budget, regulatory compliance and soccer operations protocols.

“Ena’s hiring is the final piece of the puzzle for us on the front-office side,” Padraig Smith, the Rapids executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “Bringing in a sharp, legal mind who can oversee our contractual processes and complex league mechanisms is a really important part of ensuring that we’re fielding the best possible team. We can’t wait for her to get started.”

Patel, who studied at Loyola Law School and earned a masters in laws in taxation from Northwestern, is the second female hired in a senior technical role in the offseason. Sporting Kansas City recently hired Meghan Cameron from MLS.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me both personally and professionally,” Patel said in statement released by the club. “I’ve been interested in making the jump to professional sports for some time and very much appreciate the support shown by everyone -- including my friends, family and former employers. The opportunity to be a part of a club with an ambitious vision for the future is very exciting, and I can’t wait to get started. It’s easy to see that this is a club with a very bright future.”
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