October 17, 2021

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U.S. Soccer's Prime Girls's League Faces Down Abusers, Uncertainty

U.S. Soccer's Top Women's League Faces Down Abusers, Uncertainty

Paul Riley, the coach on the middle of the minute-long protests at matches this week, rose from a youth soccer coach to turn into one of many highest-profile coaches within the ladies’s sport, profitable two championships within the N.W.S.L., with the North Carolina Braveness.

In 2015, three years earlier than profitable his first championship, Riley left the Portland Thorns N.W.S.L. staff. The Thorns now say he was fired for trigger, although the membership made no such announcement on the time. Riley confirmed up months later teaching one other N.W.S.L. staff, the Western New York Flash. When the Flash, which finally moved to North Carolina, introduced the hiring, an govt of the staff praised Riley for being “very nicely revered across the globe.”

Final week, in a report in The Athletic, two former gamers mentioned Riley abused gamers at will and that that they had reported it to staff administration and the league. Riley denied many of the allegations to The Athletic, and didn’t reply to messages in search of remark.

Sinead Farrelly, who performed for Riley with the Philadelphia Independence in 2011 after which once more with the Portland Thorns in 2014 and 2015, mentioned Riley used his energy as her coach to coerce her to have intercourse with him. Meleana Shim, who additionally performed for the Thorns, mentioned that after an evening of ingesting Riley pressured her and Farrelly to kiss one another. In the event that they did so, the staff wouldn’t need to run sprints the subsequent day. Different gamers have accused Riley of constructing inappropriate feedback.

In September 2015, Shim emailed the proprietor of the Thorns, Merritt Paulson, in addition to different staff executives, concerning the kissing incident. She additionally emailed Jeff Plush, then the commissioner of the N.W.S.L.

The following week, the Thorns announced that Riley wouldn’t coach the staff the subsequent season, thanking him for his service and making no point out of any misbehavior. In a statement this week, Steve Malik, the proprietor of the Braveness, wrote that upon hiring Riley, he “assured that he was in good standing.”

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