Kathy Carter, who recently ran for president of the USSF, is leaving her position as president of SUM.

Kathy Carter, the president of Soccer United Marketing and a recent candidate for the presidency of the U.S. Soccer Federation, has announced that she is leaving the position to pursue other opportunities.

Carter was among the leading candidates for the USSF presidency, but was viewed as someone who would maintain the status quo. Over the course of the campaign she became a lightning rod for the close relationship between the USSF, Major League Soccer and SUM. SUM serves as the marketing arm for MLS and manages the commercial rights for the USSF.

Carter took a leave of absence from SUM during the campaign for USSF president, but ultimately lost the election to Carlos Cordeiro.

“My time with Soccer United Marketing and Major League Soccer has been deeply meaningful — building and expanding the game has been my profession and my passion,” said Carter in a press release. “I’m grateful for the life-long friendships I’ve made and the support I’ve received from the Commissioner, MLS Business Ventures President Gary Stevenson and all of my colleagues at the league, and look forward to seeing MLS continue its incredible growth. I will remain a huge supporter of MLS and U.S. Soccer and will be cheering loudly from the stands for our clubs and players.”

Carter, whose last day with SUM will be April 13, has had a long career on the business side of the game, having served as a vice president for Anschutz Entertainment Group, owners of the LA Galaxy. She also worked in an executive capacity for Envision, as well as ISL United States, a subsidiary of ISL that at one point handled the media rights for FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Carter also served as MLS’ vice president of corporate marketing from the league’s inception until late 1999 and worked on the organizing committee for the 1994 World Cup. Carter played collegiately as a goalkeeper at William & Mary.

“I would like to thank Kathy on behalf of our owners, clubs and staff for the significant contributions she has made to the sport of soccer in the U.S. and Canada while at SUM and MLS,” said MLS Commissioner and SUM CEO, Don Garber. “Kathy played a critical role in the development of our league and the growth of soccer in North America for many years.

“Her energy, leadership and strong relationships helped establish SUM as one of the leading commercial soccer companies in the world. We wish her the best of luck in the next chapter in her career.”

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.

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