Founding executive of Real Salt Lake John Kimball returns as interim president of Utah Soccer

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SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – After a chaotic week, Real Salt Lake has some stability at the top of team management.

John Kimball, president of Vivint Arena, has taken over as the interim president of Utah Soccer, whose holdings include Real Salt Lake, Utah Royals and Real Monarchs.

Kimball was a founding executive of the RSL franchise back in 2005.

He takes over for Dell Loy Hansen, who announced he was selling the team in lieu of an MLS investigation into past racist comments he had made over the last several years.

Chief Business Officer Andy Carroll has also taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team after allegations of sexist behavior were unconvered.

Real Salt Lake released the following statement about Kimball’s appointment:

“During this period of ownership transition for Utah Soccer, to ensure stability and continuity, John Kimball, President of Vivint Arena, will take a temporary leave from LHMSE to serve as interim President of Utah Soccer.  Utah Soccer is grateful for LHMSE’s ongoing support of the organization, and is confident that the teams will thrive under Mr. Kimball’s revered and esteemed leadership.  From 2003-13, he served as chief marketing officer and senior vice president for Real Salt Lake and has been a pivotal figure in establishing the soccer community here in Utah.  Given Mr. Kimball’s foundational experience working for RSL, this is a natural interim step that will ensure a successful and seamless transition to new Utah Soccer ownership.
“We care deeply about the success of Utah Soccer both in the short term and in the long term and are happy to offer our support,” said Steve Starks, Chief Executive Officer, Larry H. Miller Group of Companies.  “We have committed to Mr. Hansen and the leagues our willingness to be helpful during this transition.”

Former RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who was critical of Hansen, was very complimentary about the hiring of Kimball.

“John is a trusted executive and strong leader in our industry,” said Jim Olson, President of LHMSE. “Given his previous experience working for Real Salt Lake, we are pleased to share his talents and expertise to ensure a successful soccer season here in Utah.”

Real Salt Lake hosts Seattle tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

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