NWSL Players’ Association to issue demands after misconduct allegations against coach


The National Women’s Soccer League Players’ Association said Wednesday’s games will take place as scheduled but their “demands will be forthcoming” after allegations of misconduct against former North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley.

NWSL games at the weekend were postponed after The Athletic on Thursday outlined allegations of sexual coercion and misconduct by Riley, who led the Courage to back-to-back NWSL championships in 2018 and 2019, after speaking to more than a dozen players he coached since 2010.

Portland Thorns, where Riley served as head coach from 2014-15, said on Monday they regret their role in “a systemic failure across women’s professional soccer.” The Athletic previously said Riley denied “the majority” of the allegations detailed in its report.

“We have taken the weekend’s pause to evaluate. We acknowledge that we will not process the pain of the last several days in one weekend or one week,” the NWSLPA said on Tuesday.

“In the midst of statements that leagues and clubs are quick to release, we have been listening to one another.

“Today, we stand with Mana [Shim], Sinead [Farrelly] and Kaiya [McCullough] as they continue to tell their stories. We have made the decision to proceed with Wednesday night’s scheduled competition, but our demands will be forthcoming.”

The NWSL fired commissioner Lisa Baird and world soccer governing body FIFA launched a preliminary investigation into the matter on Friday.

The NWSL’s board of governors said on Sunday it formed a new executive committee and U.S. Soccer said it had retained former U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general Sally Yates to investigate allegations of abuse and misconduct.

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