- Associated Press - Thursday, March 2, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - Jeff Plush has stepped down as commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League after two years in the position.

Plush resigned to pursue new opportunities, the league said Thursday.

During his tenure, Plush oversaw the addition of the Orlando Pride as an expansion team, Western New York’s move to North Carolina and the partnership with A+E Networks, which includes a three-year broadcast deal with Lifetime television.

The NWSL, which is backed by the Canadian Soccer Association and the U.S. Soccer Federation, begins its fifth season in April.

“As commissioner over the past two seasons, Jeff Plush has been integral in the stability and rise of NWSL, and his body of work will provide his successor an excellent blue print to follow in the years ahead,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement.

The league says the search for a new commissioner will begin immediately.

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