Nick Sakiewicz

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Nick Sakiewicz
Personal information
Date of birth (1961-01-14) January 14, 1961 (age 56)
Place of birth Passaic, New Jersey, United States
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1979–1983 University of New Haven
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984 New York Arrows (indoor) 2 (0)
1990 Tampa Bay Rowdies 0 (0)
Teams managed
–1990 College of Boca Raton (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Nick Sakiewicz (born January 14, 1961) is a sports and entertainment executive and former professional soccer goalkeeper. He is the current commissioner of the National Lacrosse League. He is a 21-year veteran of Major League Soccer and was part a small group of people that started the League in 1995. He helped launch the League as its first VP of Sponsorship Sales and went on to manage two inaugural teams in Tampa and New York. He also led the efforts to build two soccer specific stadiums (New York and Philadelphia) and was cofounder of Major League Soccer's 16th expansion franchise the Philadelphia Union. Until October 2015, he served as the CEO and Operating Partner of Keystone Sports & Entertainment, LLC, the ownership group of the Philadelphia Union. He played in the Major Indoor Soccer League and American Professional Soccer League and coached at the youth and college levels. He was the president of both the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the MetroStars.

Player[edit]

Sakiewicz, the son of a Polish immigrant father and mother, attended the University of New Haven where he played on the school's NCAA Division II soccer team from 1979 to 1982. He was a 1981, 1982 and 1983 All New England and 1982 Division II Second Team All American goalkeeper.[1] After graduating from New Haven, he moved to Europe where he played in FC Nantes as a developmental player. He also spent a short time with Belenenses of Portugal in 1984. He returned to the United States and played for the New York Arrows of the Major Indoor Soccer League during the 1983-1984 season.[2] He spent an extended hiatus from the professional game after a serious leg injury and pursued business opportunities, continuing with the game by coaching and playing at the amateur level. In 1990, he returned to the professional game for one season with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the American Professional Soccer League.[3]

Coach[edit]

Following his retirement as a player, Sakiewicz coached youth soccer in Florida and was an assistant coach with the College of Boca Raton.

Management[edit]

In the late 1980s, Sakiewicz was a co-owner of the South Florida-based Ezell-Titterton Inc. In 1995 and early 1996, Sakiewicz worked as an executive at Major League Soccer. In October 1996, he became the President of the Tampa Bay Mutiny.[4] In 1999 he was named MLS Executive of the Year after three seasons with the Mutiny, before leaving to become President of the MetroStars. With the MetroStars he was named MLS Executive of the Year for a second time in 2000, after the team finished atop the Eastern Division in the regular season. Over five seasons the MetroStars appeared in the 2003 U.S. Open Cup final and qualified for the MLS playoffs four times, but only won one playoff series. The team improved their sponsorship revenue and local broadcasting contracts under his management. Sakiewicz made good on his promise to build a soccer specific stadium and led the successful completion of the finance deal which resulted in the groundbreaking of Red Bull Arena and subsequent record setting sale of the MetroStars to Red Bull Energy Drink Company.

During the 2005 season, Sakiewicz was promoted to President of AEG New York, LLC, where he oversaw the sale of the MetroStars to Red Bull in 2006. In November 2007 he left AEG to become the co-founder and CEO of the Philadelphia Union. Philadelphia was announced as the 16th MLS franchise and he completed construction of their own soccer-specific stadium, PPL Park.

On October 2, 2015, Sakiewicz was removed from his duties as CEO and Operating Partner of the Philadelphia Union. Majority owner Jay Sugarman cited a difference in philosophy regarding the management of the franchise as the reason for his dismissal. Sakiewicz had also developed a contentious relationship with fans and the local media. In May 2015 he was the target of a protest by Philadelphia Union fans at PPL Park. Following his dismissal, allegations arose that Sakiewicz had threatened members of the local media with libel suits for their reporting on the franchise.

On January 7, 2016, Sakiewicz was introduced as the fifth commissioner in the history of the National Lacrosse League.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1982 NSCAA All Americans
  2. ^ MISL statistics
  3. ^ 1990 Tampa Bay Rowdies
  4. ^ Mutiny turns to ex-Rowdie for help St. Petersburg Times - Tuesday, October 22, 1996

External links[edit]