The former president and CEO of D.C. United was officially appointed as both the president and general manager of Toronto FC on Wednesday.After six seasons without a playoff berth in MLS, Toronto FC took a new direction on Wednesday with the appointment of Kevin Payne as both president and general manager of the club.
Payne is one of the most respected figures in MLS and his experience as president and CEO with D.C. United for the last 17 years and especially his success with the club were the main reason why he was chosen for the role.
"Kevin brings a tremendous wealth of MLS experience and soccer leadership to our club," said Tom Anselmi, president and CEO of MLSE, in a TFC press conference. "He is a proven winner and knows what it takes to win in our league. We believe he is the right person to lead our club and a great fit for our community and most importantly our fans. "
As the league's cellar dwellars, Toronto FC is coming off its worst season in MLS so far and it's for this very reason that Payne wanted to join the club, for he viewed the job as an exciting challenge.
"This is the only job in Major League Soccer for which I would have left DC United," Payne stated. "I think the opportunity here is absolutely phenomenal. The opportunity to turn things around on the field and repay the fans for their unbelievable level of commitment and passion is one of the most exciting challenges I could have imagined. And I see no reason why we can't be successful in doing that and make this team, by every single measure, the standard of MLS".
Payne explained that the first priority will be to immediately improve the product on the field. Having only shortly arrived at the club, however, he said he wasn't ready to explain which changes were going to be made, but he did confirm that Paul Mariner would be returning as head coach for the 2013 season.