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Former MLS team exec named new NLL commissioner


Viper

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Former Philadelphia Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz has taken the reins from George Daniel as the new commissioner of the National Lacrosse League.

That he comes from a market that recently lost its NLL team (the Wings, the league's last surviving original franchise, moved to Connecticut as the New England Black Wolves after the 2014 season) has raised some eyebrows, and speculation that the league could soon return to Philly.

“I’m honored and excited to join a tremendous group of owners and lead the National Lacrosse League as NLL Commissioner,” Sakiewicz said in an NLL press release. “Similar to soccer 20 years ago, lacrosse is a dynamic and rapidly-growing sport amongst an incredible demographic in North America. The National Lacrosse League is celebrating its 30th anniversary season featuring the best players in the world and highlighted by some incredibly entertaining competition. I’m really looking forward to bringing my experience working in MLS to the NLL and helping everyone in the lacrosse community to grow the league and expand the sport.”

Sakiewicz was one of the original founders of Major League Soccer in 1995 and was the CEO of the Philadelphia Union from 2005 until recently.

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It's not unheard of to grab an executive from another sport (the NHL got their commissioner from the NBA, and the Browns just hired the Moneyball stats brain).

But you usually want to get one who was very good at that first sport. I get wanting to hire the man who revolutionized baseball analysis, or hiring a top-level guy away from a league on the rise. This hire? Odd.

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Well, the NLL isn't exactly a high-profile league to begin with, and it's been a bit of a basket case recently in terms of stability, so maybe Sakiewicz was just the best candidate who was even interested in the job.

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Well, the NLL isn't exactly a high-profile league to begin with, and it's been a bit of a basket case recently in terms of stability, so maybe Sakiewicz was just the best candidate who was even interested in the job.

I suspect this may be the truth.

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