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NEW YORK (April 23, 2019) – Major League Soccer today announced the appointment of Anastasia Danias Schmidt, a highly-respected executive at the NFL for the last two decades, as the league’s Executive Vice President (EVP) and General Counsel. Bill Ordower, the General Counsel who has been with MLS since 1997, is joining the commercial side of the organization in the newly-created position of EVP, MLS Business Ventures.

Schmidt joined the NFL in 2000 and is Deputy General Counsel, Litigation and Legal Affairs for the league, overseeing all the commercial, intellectual property, mass tort, labor and employment, insurance, antitrust, and class action litigation involving the NFL and its affiliated companies. During her time at the league, she provided counsel to NFL owners, the Commissioner’s office, and the senior management team on every aspect of the league’s business. Schmidt has also held a dozen officer positions at league-affiliated companies, including NFL Enterprises, NFL Ventures, NFL Properties and NFL International.

At MLS, Schmidt will play a key role in the strategic and operational leadership of the league and legal function. Schmidt, who will report to MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott, begins her new role on Monday, May 13.

“Anastasia is one of the most talented and admired legal executives in professional sports today, and MLS is extremely proud that she has chosen to join our league as a senior leader,” said Abbott. “Her collaborative efforts with our leadership team and clubs will be critical during this continued period of growth for MLS and the game in the U.S. and Canada.”

As MLS’ EVP and General Counsel, Ordower oversaw the legal affairs for MLS and Soccer United Marketing (SUM). He also created and implemented the league’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, in addition to conducting league investigations regarding tampering and player-related issues.

Ordower now transitions to a new role with MLS Business Ventures. As EVP, MLS Business Ventures, Ordower will manage and advise on important commercial opportunities for MLS and SUM. He will report directly to Gary Stevenson, the Deputy Commissioner and President of MLS Business Ventures.

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