U.S. Soccer hired Karen Leetzow
as its new chief legal officer, the first executive hire by new U.S. Soccer secretary general and CEO Will Wilson
Leetzow spent 20 years at
NASCAR where she most recently served as its senior vice president and general counsel, directing the day-to-day operations of a 21-person legal department and five-person risk management team. She
will begin her new position in Chicago.
“Karen brings a vast amount of expertise and broad legal background to U.S. Soccer, and she’ll immediately be a valuable addition to
our team,” said Wilson. “She has a strategic mindset and a tremendous work ethic, and I’m confident her presence and skillset will further strengthen the foundation of our
Leetzow succeeds Lydia Wahlke
, who stepped down in May in the fallout over the controversy over U.S. Soccer's legal filings in the pay discrimination suit
filed by members of the U.S. women's national team. U.S. Soccer was awarded partial summary judgment. Wahlke is now a U.S. Soccer consultant.
Fluent in German, Leetzow lives in Chicago
with her husband Brett Scharback
, who has been general counsel for the Chicago Cubs since 2018 -- the same position Wahlke held at the Cubs before joining U.S. Soccer in 2017.