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United Soccer Leagues


December 11, 2015
Ex-Cosmos sales director joins Bethlehem

CHESTER, Pa. – Bethlehem Steel FC announced Friday it has hired Rich Searls to become the club’s first managing director.

Searls will oversee all business operations for the expansion team, which will serve as the official USL affiliate of the Philadelphia Union.

He joins the club from the Cosmos, the reigning North American Soccer League champions, where he was the director of sales. He also has worked for the Red Bulls.

“Rich’s vast experience and knowledge in this industry was really a perfect fit for our organization,” Union chief revenue officer and executive vice president Dave Rowan said in a statement. “We’re excited to have him lead our operations in Bethlehem and know he has already hit the ground running with our first-year club.”

Since December 2012, Searls has served as the director of sales for the Cosmos, where he helped re-launch the brand before its first season in competitive play in NASL. Under Searls, the Cosmos led the league in average attendance in 2013. The club went on to win the Soccer Bowl in its first season of existence. The Cosmos also won the NASL championship this year.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to join Bethlehem Steel FC, and I want to thank Jay Sugarman, Richie Graham and Dave for this opportunity,” Searls said in a statement. “We have ambitious goals of becoming the standard bearer of our growing league, and I’m really looking forward to being a driving member of the cause. I can’t wait to get started.”

Searls also worked for the Red Bulls from 2003 to 2011. He served as the director of sales and service after being promoted from a senior account executive. Searls has also worked as a consultant for the Soccer International Network and for Van Wagner Dorna USA Sports Group. He received his bachelor’s degree in communications from William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J.

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