TUKWILA, WA—Washington Youth Soccer, one of the largest youth soccer organizations in North America, has announced the hiring of United States National Team member and professional player Nick Perera as the new Executive Director. Aside from Perera’s technical abilities, much of his career has been motivated by building a team atmosphere and a passion for helping players develop to the next level. The hiring of Perera, as well as the naming of Foundation Executive Director Rachel Wilton as new Director of Operations, brings a fresh energy and excitement to the organization. After being named Executive Director, Perera said that “it is an honor and privilege to be joining Washington Youth Soccer. I am humbled by the unique opportunity and responsibility to refine programming for our communities, support our membership, and progress youth development in Washington. I hope to help the organization chart a bright and promising course founded in collaboration, inclusion, and equal opportunities for all.“
Having played and coached at numerous professional, collegiate, and amateur levels around the world, Perera offers a wealth of experience in both the professional and youth soccer development landscape. A speaker of six languages, Perera looks forward to communicating on and off the pitch with members, families, and supporters of diverse backgrounds. Perera also brings to WYS time as Director of Coaching at an elite club, seven years serving on US Soccer’s Athlete Council, representing the United States as the National Beach Soccer Team Captain, and an impressive 11-year professional indoor career.
Rachel Wilton has been with Washington Youth Soccer for nine years, first as Community Outreach Manager and then as Programs Director for the Washington Youth Soccer Foundation after co-founding it in 2016. For the past three years she has been the Executive Director of the Foundation, a role she will continue in alongside her new role as Director of Operations. With her nonprofit experience and history of coaching youth internationally and in Washington State, she will also bring new energy and strategy to the landscape of soccer in Washington.
Wilton had this to say about the changes in WYS and the organization going forward: “I am excited to continue learning and growing with Washington Youth Soccer, nine years in and I’m just getting started! The power soccer has to unite communities together cross-culturally is so powerful; everyone deserves the chance to experience the holistic growth the sport can bring. I look forward to building relationships and supporting all levels of the game, while learning from our membership along the way, and improving the experience for everyone!”
Washington Youth Soccer looks forward to an exciting era of leadership and growth. The organization thanks outgoing CEO Terry Fisher for his 12 years of service, as well as countless accolades and milestones.
Our mission is to grow soccer in our state and make the sport available and attractive to more youth players than ever. Learn more at www.washingtonyouthsoccer.org and contact Nick Perera at NickP@washingtonyouthsoccer.org or Rachel Wilton at RachelW@washingtonyouthsoccer.org.