Soccer has traditionally been a hard sell for American audiences, but when veteran pro sports executive Mike Golub and his team brought the Timbers back to Portland, they proved that the great game could also be great business. Every home game has been a sell-out since the Timbers rejoined Major League Soccer three years ago, and the waiting list for season tickets is more than seven thousand long. It's a winning record that earned Golub MLS executive of the year honors in 2011. But, he says, his proudest achievement has been the renaissance of soccer culture that earned Portland the nickname "Soccer City USA".
Before Golub joined the Timbers, he held executive positions with the National Hockey League's New York Rangers, and the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trailblazers. He started his career in sports as a producer for Major League Baseball Productions, and earned his MBA at Stanford Business School in 1988.