David Downs, who was the executive director for the United States' 2018 and '22 World Cup bids, has been named the new commissioner of the NASL, which will start its first year as a second division league on April 9. Downs the league's first-ever commissioner, as Aaron Davidson remains the league's CEO.
"The stars continue to align for the new NASL. The combination of David’s experience in sports television including soccer, his recent experience leading the US World Cup bid and his passion for and understanding of soccer globally and domestically uniquely position him to lead the NASL," Davidson said in a league release. "David has been directly involved in the growth of soccer in this country and thus appreciates the critical role that the NASL will play in the continued growth of the sport."
Prior to his time with the USA bid committee, Downs spent 30 years in the broadcast industry as an executive with ABC sports and Univision. ABC won the right to broadcast every World Cup from 1994 to 2014 during his time there.