NEW YORK – Major League Soccer announced Monday that Diego A. Moratorio has been named general manager, MLS Canada.

It is a new position at the league and its commercial arm, Soccer United Marketing.

Moratorio, who begins work Monday, will be based in Toronto and will report to SUM president Kathy Carter.

In this role, Moratorio will guide the explosive growth of the sport and MLS in Canada. Among his main responsibilities will be growing MLS’ fanbase and increasing sponsorship both at the league and club level.

“Diego’s experience and expertise make him an ideal leader in the Canadian marketplace for the continued growth of MLS,” said Gary Stevenson, president and managing director, MLS Business Ventures. “His appointment is an important part of the evolution of the League at a time when soccer in North America is surging in popularity and relevance.”

Moratorio will work closely with Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. During the past four seasons, MLS’ Canadian Clubs have seen a 17 percent increase in average attendance and a 173 percent increase in sellouts.