Alan Rothenberg honored at Soccerex USA

Former U.S. president Alan Rothenberg, who was the chairman and CEO of the 1994 World Cup organizing committee and the architect of MLS's launch in 1996, received the 2018 Duncan Revie Award as part of the opening ceremony at Soccerex USA on Thursday.

The event, which concludes Friday, is being held at Marlins Park in Miami.

The award was presented to Rothenberg by John Kristick, the executive director of the successful United 2026 bid, in recognition of the impact he's had on the U.S. soccer industry.

Rothenberg's work in soccer goes back to the Los Angeles Wolves of the USA in 1967 when he was general counsel for sports and media entrepreneur Jack Kent Cooke. He was the commissioner of soccer at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, where record soccer crowds convinced FIFA that the U.S. market was ready to be tapped and should host the World Cup.

He served two terms as U.S. Soccer president (1990-98). It was his background in American pro sports and first-hand experiences with soccer's struggles working for Cooke -- he also ran the NASL's Los Angeles Aztecs -- that convinced him to devise the league plan for the single-entity system that MLS still operates today.

Mark Abbott, who wrote the MLS plan and serves as president and deputy commissioner, Ivan Gazidis, the former MLS deputy commissioner and Arsenal CEO, and agent Richard Motzkin, all came out of Latham & Watkins, the law firm where Rothenberg was a partner.

In 2004, Rothenberg founded 1st Century Bank, based in Los Angeles. He is also the chairman of Premier Partnerships, a leading naming rights, sponsorship sales and consulting firm.

He was awarded the FIFA Order of Merit in 2006 and inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007.
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