The NWSL has postponed soccer games due to claims of coach misconduct.


The NWSL has postponed soccer games due to claims of coach misconduct.

The National Women’s Soccer League postponed five games this weekend to give players and coaches “room to reflect” in the wake of allegations of misbehavior against former coach Paul Riley.

Riley was fired by the North Carolina Courage on Thursday. When the Courage made the announcement, they cited a report from The Athletic.

More than a dozen players talked to The Athletic, accusing the coach of sexual pressure and making inappropriate weight and sexual orientation comments.

Riley refuted the report’s allegations.

In a statement released Friday, NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said, “This week, like much of this season, has been tremendously painful for our players and staff, and I take full responsibility for the part I have played.”

“I am deeply sorry for the suffering that so many people are experiencing. Recognizing the trauma, we’ve decided to skip the field this weekend to give everyone time to reflect.”

The games between the Courage and the Washington Spirit on Friday, as well as Racing Louisville and Gotham FC on Saturday, were the first to be rescheduled.

Saturday’s games for the Chicago Red Stars, Orlando Pride, Kansas City, Houston Dash, Portland Thorns FC, and OL Reign have been postponed.

“Right now, business as usual isn’t our concern,” Baird added. “Our entire league needs to recover, and our players are deserving of so much more.

“We made this choice in consultation with our players association, and this pause will be the first step in our collective effort to reform this league’s culture, which has been long overdue.”

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