MLS Rivals Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers Faucet Authorized Expertise

The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, two of the most important rivals in Key League Soccer, are among quite a few golf equipment including to their legal teams off the pitch.

Felipe Mendez, who invested the earlier a few a long time as general counsel for the Bellevue School District around Seattle, joined the Sounders this thirty day period as an affiliate general counsel. He is also president of Washington Youth Soccer, an group focused to promoting the sport among young children in the state.

The Sounders promoted longtime authorized chief Maya Mendoza-Exstrom to chief operating officer previously this year. She did not answer to a ask for for remark. In May well, the Sounders conquer Mexico City’s Pumas UNAM in front of an MLS history 68,700 followers in Seattle to come to be the initial MLS facet to progress to the FIFA Club Entire world Cup.

That identical thirty day period the Timbers hired Heather Davis, a longtime in-home attorney with the Nationwide Football League, as their new typical counsel. Davis joined the Timbers immediately after a yr as senior corporate counsel for mergers and acquisitions at Vacasa Inc., a trip rental administration corporation based in Portland, Ore.

Davis stated in an interview that the Covid-19 pandemic prompted her to go away the NFL’s New York headquarters in May perhaps 2021 soon after nearly nine many years with the league. The former Paul Hastings and Covington & Burling affiliate, an Oregon native, and her spouse relocated that summer months to the state’s wine region.

MLS is closing in on a coveted place as one of North America’s Large Four qualified sporting activities leagues. In June, Apple Inc. inked a lengthy-expression streaming legal rights deal for MLS online games. The league has expanded rapidly in recent a long time, with an enlargement crew owned by hedge fund mogul David Tepper having the subject this 12 months in Charlotte, N.C., and one more club in St. Louis established to begin play subsequent calendar year.

New Competitors

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

“The soccer society on each the men’s and women’s facet is fantastic in Portland—it’s enjoyment to be a part of it,” Davis reported. “I truly feel genuinely lucky to have been in a position to locate my way back into athletics out right here.”

She took above from former Timbers and Thorns typical counsel Lori Le Cheminant, who invested far more than a few years in the role. Le Cheminant didn’t react to a request for comment about her departure from the crew.

The Timbers and Sounders each calendar year vie for the Cascadia Cup alongside with an additional Pacific Northwest mainstay, the Vancouver Whitecaps. All 3 groups are at present bunched with each other in the center of MLS’ Western Convention standings.

Mendez was out of the office environment and unavailable for comment about his new Sounders job, which is shown on the team’s website, as effectively as his LinkedIn profile and registration with the Washington Point out Bar Association. Community records exhibit that Mendez acquired $190,000 through 2020 in his prior job as a school district lawful main.

More MLS Moves

The Sounders and Timbers are not the only MLS teams choosing lawyers.

LAFC, a Los Angeles-based group with Major Regulation backing that at the moment sits atop the Western Convention table, recruited a replacement for its former typical counsel Randy Haight, who in December joined the Coca-Cola Co. The franchise hired new lawful main Joseph Connaughton III in February immediately after he invested a few yrs as counsel for the Nationwide Basketball Association’s Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder.

Connaughton brought on former Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner affiliate D. Logan Kutcher as senior counsel in April. Kutcher most not long ago worked in-household at Lyft Inc. and Dish Community Corp.

In May, FC Cincinnati declared its seek the services of of vice president of legal affairs Paula Boggs Muething right after she stepped down as Cincinnati’s town manager. Bloomberg Regulation claimed final calendar year on a former partner at Cincinnati’s Keating Muething & Klekamp, the place Boggs Muething at the time labored, aiding the staff open up a new stadium.

FC Dallas in January tapped James O’Sullivan to triumph Alan Tompkins as its standard counsel. O’Sullivan was beforehand an assistant general counsel and director of land administration at Dallas-based Unity Hunt Inc. Tomkins has served as general counsel for the privately held business managed by the Hunt loved ones, longtime benefactors of US soccer and homeowners of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.