MLS Rivals Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers Tap Lawful Expertise

The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, two of the major rivals in Big League Soccer, are amongst many clubs including to their lawful groups off the pitch.

Felipe Mendez, who used the past 3 years as normal counsel for the Bellevue School District in close proximity to Seattle, joined the Sounders this month as an associate normal counsel. He is also president of Washington Youth Soccer, an organization dedicated to endorsing the sport amongst kids in the point out.

The Sounders promoted longtime lawful main Maya Mendoza-Exstrom to chief operating officer before this calendar year. She didn’t react to a request for comment. In May perhaps, the Sounders defeat Mexico City’s Pumas UNAM in front of an MLS file 68,700 lovers in Seattle to become the initial MLS facet to progress to the FIFA Club Planet Cup.

That exact same month the Timbers employed Heather Davis, a longtime in-home law firm with the Countrywide Soccer League, as their new standard counsel. Davis joined the Timbers soon after a calendar year as senior corporate counsel for mergers and acquisitions at Vacasa Inc., a holiday rental administration corporation based mostly in Portland, Ore.

Davis reported in an interview that the Covid-19 pandemic prompted her to leave the NFL’s New York headquarters in May possibly 2021 after virtually 9 a long time with the league. The previous Paul Hastings and Covington & Burling associate, an Oregon indigenous, and her partner relocated that summer time to the state’s wine state.

MLS is closing in on a coveted spot as a person of North America’s Massive 4 expert sports leagues. In June, Apple Inc. inked a extensive-phrase streaming legal rights offer for MLS game titles. The league has expanded quickly in new yrs, with an expansion workforce owned by hedge fund mogul David Tepper getting the field this 12 months in Charlotte, N.C., and a further club in St. Louis set to begin perform up coming yr.

New Competition

Davis returns to the sports activities world with her new work as authorized chief for the Timbers and Portland Thorns FC, an affiliated franchise in the National Women’s Soccer League.

“The soccer tradition on the two the men’s and women’s facet is wonderful in Portland—it’s enjoyment to be a part of it,” Davis mentioned. “I sense actually lucky to have been in a position to come across my way back into sports out listed here.”

She took above from previous Timbers and Thorns typical counsel Lori Le Cheminant, who expended a lot more than three yrs in the job. Le Cheminant didn’t answer to a ask for for comment about her departure from the workforce.

The Timbers and Sounders just about every year vie for the Cascadia Cup together with yet another Pacific Northwest mainstay, the Vancouver Whitecaps. All 3 teams are now bunched with each other in the center of MLS’ Western Conference standings.

Mendez was out of the place of work and unavailable for remark about his new Sounders function, which is mentioned on the team’s web site, as properly as his LinkedIn profile and registration with the Washington Point out Bar Affiliation. General public information demonstrate that Mendez earned $190,000 in the course of 2020 in his prior job as a college district legal main.

Additional MLS Moves

The Sounders and Timbers are not the only MLS groups employing lawyers.

LAFC, a Los Angeles-centered team with Big Law backing that at this time sits atop the Western Convention desk, recruited a substitution for its former basic counsel Randy Haight, who in December joined the Coca-Cola Co. The franchise employed new legal chief Joseph Connaughton III in February following he used a few several years as counsel for the Nationwide Basketball Association’s Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder.

Connaughton brought on former Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner associate D. Logan Kutcher as senior counsel in April. Kutcher most lately worked in-property at Lyft Inc. and Dish Community Corp.

In May perhaps, FC Cincinnati introduced its retain the services of of vice president of authorized affairs Paula Boggs Muething right after she stepped down as Cincinnati’s metropolis supervisor. Bloomberg Legislation documented last 12 months on a previous lover at Cincinnati’s Keating Muething & Klekamp, in which Boggs Muething at the time labored, assisting the group open up a new stadium.

FC Dallas in January tapped James O’Sullivan to succeed Alan Tompkins as its normal counsel. O’Sullivan was previously an assistant general counsel and director of land administration at Dallas-dependent Unity Hunt Inc. Tomkins has served as typical counsel for the privately held business controlled by the Hunt family members, longtime benefactors of US soccer and proprietors of the NFL’s Kansas Town Chiefs.

Sherri Crump

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