TORONTO (from CPL) – The Canadian Premier League announced Wednesday that former professional soccer player and Canadian men’s national team member James Easton has been named vice president of soccer operations for the CPL.
After his retirement from professional soccer, Easton founded Rethink Management Group – a sports and culture consultancy. As managing director and founding partner, Easton led numerous soccer-related projects and in-depth case studies for professional soccer teams, leagues, national federations and investment groups from across the Americas and the U.K. In 2013 he headed a study into the viability of Division 2 soccer in Canada, according to The Canadian Press.
As vice president of soccer operations for the CPL, Easton is responsible for all on-field matters including competition standards, player management and development, officiating and scheduling. He will work closely with regulatory groups to ensure all aspects of the CPL are in full compliance to FIFA, CONCACAF and Canada Soccer standards.
“James is a longstanding champion of Canadian men’s soccer and he possesses an intrinsic understanding of what is required to make the CPL a long-term success on and off the pitch,” said CPL commissioner David Clanachan. “To have James’ technical expertise, knowledge and vision in our corner will allow the CPL to deliver some compelling competition.”
An exceptional midfielder, Easton represented Canada numerous times in soccer on the youth and senior men’s national teams. He played professional soccer with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL, Dundee United FC of the SPL, and the Vancouver ’86ers of the Canadian Soccer League and American Professional Soccer League. In 2004, Easton was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the 1989 Vancouver ’86ers.
Easton, who was born in Scotland, holds an MBA in executive management from Royal Roads University and was previously the head coach of the Capilano University men’s soccer team.
“The CPL has injected Canadian soccer with new life and, as a lifelong fan of the sport, I couldn’t be more honoured to be a part of this grassroots movement that will bring greater opportunities for our athletes to play the game that they love at a professional level,” Easton said. “This is an incredibly rewarding opportunity for all of us at the CPL to give back to the communities that have shown unwavering support for soccer in Canada, and I’m excited to help build a league that is strong, competitive and engaging for fans from coast to coast.”
The CPL is set to debut with its inaugural season in Spring 2019.