The Washington Post

D.C. United makes front office changes

(D.C. United)
(D.C. United)

A year after dismissing several high-ranking executives, D.C. United is making more front office changes.

Doug Hicks, who was promoted to chief marketing officer last fall, was fired Tuesday. Aprile Pritchet, a fixture in community relations who oversaw the club’s charitable operations, and communications manager Sarah Lerner were also let go.

Last year, four months after taking charge of the organization, the investment group, led by Jason Levien, ousted president Kevin Payne, senior executive Stephen Zack, ticket officer Fred Matthes and several other behind-the-scenes employees with deep ties to the MLS club.

Hicks, a former Washington Bullets and Capitals employee, worked in communications and marketing for 12 MLS seasons and won four league-wide public relations awards. When Payne and Zack were ousted last fall, Levien appointed Hicks and Michael Williamson to run the marketing and business operations. Williamson will remain in his role as chief operating and financial officer.

Williamson made the decisions on the recent dismissals, a source said.

The moves were not cost-cutting and each position will be filled, the source added.

Several sources said Troy Scott, vice president of operations for EventsDC, which manages RFK Stadium and D.C. Armory, will join United’s front office as VP of stadium development and operations. He will oversee initiatives related to the proposed stadium project at Buzzard Point, one source said. The club is also planning to announce marketing and communications hirings soon.

“Ownership told me they wished to go in another direction,” Hicks told the Insider. “I respect their decision. For 13 seasons, I’ve worked alongside the best and brightest minds in professional soccer. I came to RFK every day inspired by the greatest fans in MLS and I appreciate the opportunity provided to me.”

Levien said he did not want to comment.

Saddled by a 3-24-7 record — the fewest wins in league history — and an antiquated home venue at RFK Stadium, United saw average attendance fall to an all-time low (13,646), a 1 percent drop from last year.

Levien and partners Erick Thohir and Will Chang are weighing whether to retain head coach Ben Olsen and General Manager Dave Kasper. Both are under contract through 2014. Sources said Olsen is on firmer ground than Kasper, but both might end up returning.


Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.



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Steven Goff · October 29, 2013