Chicago Red Stars defender Arin Wright (3) handles the ball against New Jersey/New York Gotham FC during the first half at SeatGeek Stadium. (Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports)

While the fallout of the NWSL abuse scandal hit the Chicago Red Stars harder than many other clubs, players have found freedom in the changes, defender Arin Wright said Saturday.

The Red Stars are readying for their seventh consecutive playoff appearance. They head on the road to face the San Diego Wave at 10 p.m. ET Sunday.

The postseason opener comes in the aftermath of U.S. Soccer’s report on its investigation into abuses in the league, which the federation released on Oct. 3. Former Chicago head coach Rory Dames was one of three former NWSL coaches at the center of the report, which also details owner Arnim Whisler’s dismissal of complaints against Dames.

In the wake of the report, Whisler was removed as chairman of the club’s board of directors, and the board also aims to facilitate a share of Whisler’s shares of the team.

“With this season, because of all that happened and all the changes that have happened in the past two weeks with our team, there’s a little bit of a liberating feeling from that,” Wright said. “There’s part of it that’s kind of even more the people that we’ve been wanting to see go for a bit are gone and now it’s like, ‘Let’s f—ing do this.’

“We’re excited. There’s even more behind this playoff match than there ever has been before.”

Players have not had any communication with Whisler in the last two weeks, Wright said.

Last Monday, Red Stars players issued a statement calling for Whisler’s removal. At that same time, former chief business officer Vicky Lynch resigned from the team, stating that she had been “misled” about what had occurred prior to her arrival.

“After the departure of Dames, Arnim Whisler assured us that he was shocked to hear the allegations against Dames, claiming that he had no knowledge of the environment Dames cultivated at the club,” reads the players’ statement. “While we were dubious about Whisler’s assertion, it wasn’t until the report was released that the extent of his dishonesty became clear.

“This team has endured serious hardships over the years, and it is finally our time to implement the changes for which we’ve tirelessly pushed. We are committed to building a future in which players and staff alike can experience joy and success at our club.”