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National Soccer Hall of Famer Kevin Payne dies at 69

Feb 29, 2020; Washington, D.C., USA; A detailed view of D.C. United logos on the sideline before the game between the D.C. United and the Colorado Rapids at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Payne, a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame thanks to his early work in the front office of inaugural Major League Soccer franchise D.C. United, died Sunday at 69.

His daughter told the Washington Post that he died from a lung illness called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Payne was D.C. United’s founding president and general manager from 1994-2001 and 2004-12. The club won four MLS Cups (1996, 1997, 1999, 2004) and two U.S. Open Cups (1996, 2008) while he served in that capacity, forming one of the league’s first dynasties.

From 2001-04, Payne was tapped to oversee AEG Soccer as its vice president and managing director. The organization owned six MLS clubs at the time: the Los Angeles Galaxy, Colorado Rapids, Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls (then the MetroStars) and San Jose Earthquakes along with D.C.

Payne was also president and GM of Toronto FC from 2012-13.

–Field Level Media