U.S. Soccer board member accused of sleeping by Commisso identified

U.S. Soccer

Image credit: U.S. Soccer

Last week, during the NASL’s conference call regarding its antitrust lawsuit against the USSF, New York Cosmos owner and NASL chairman Rocco Commisso accused a member of U.S. Soccer’s Board of Directors of falling asleep while he was making his presentation.

Donna Shalala was the board member Commisso referred to but didn’t identify, per sources present at the meeting. Shalala’s title is independent director according to U.S. Soccer’s website.

“One of the independent directors on the board fell asleep while I was talking,” Commisso said of the Sept. 1 meeting with the Board of Directors in which the NASL was asked to justify its Division II standing. “The next time we heard from the federation was later that evening, when we were told that the federation was denying DII sanctioning beyond the end of the 2017 season.”

Sources also confirmed some of the other members in attendance at the meeting: president Sunil Gulati, executive vice president Carlos Cordeiro, athlete representative Chris Ahrens, adult council representatives Richard Moeller and John Motta, youth council representative Tim Turney, CEO Dan Flynn and new member Lisa Carnoy. Youth council representative Jesse Herald was purportedly unable to attend due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

The NASL contingent was represented by Commisso, interim commissioner Rishi Sehgal and Jacksonville Armada FC owner Robert Palmer.

Soc Takes reached out to U.S. Soccer for comment on the Board of Directors meeting and received the following response:

“Considering the pending litigation, we won’t be talking about these specifics.”

A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 31, at which the NASL will seek a preliminary injunction that would allow the league to retain its second-division status.

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