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Thorns fire head trainer and assistant coach after NWSL investigation

Portland Thorns trainer Pierre Soubrier provides treatment to Morgan Weaver during a match in the 2022 season. (Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The Portland Thorns fired head athletic trainer Pierre Soubrier and assistant coach Sophie Clough after NWSL investigations found each of them to be in violation of league policies.

In Clough’s case, concerns were raised about her in November after it was reported that she made a player feel uncomfortable during the team’s championship celebration by kissing her neck. Allegations of bullying were also raised against Clough. The league found the allegations of unwanted physical contact to be true but said the bullying claims were unsubstantiated.

Soubrier was investigated for providing medicating with codeine to players during a playoff match. Codeine is a controlled substance that must be administered by a physician.

This was not the only time Soubrier was found to have administered a controlled substance to a player without prescription or physician assistance. The NWSL found that Soubrier had done so on “multiple occasions.” Not only is this a violation of league policy, but it is also against federal and state laws.

Soubrier, who is married to Thorns midfielder Crystal Dunn, was placed on administrative leave in December, before his firing was made official by the Thorns.

Dr. Breanne Brown also underwent investigation after self-reporting that she had supplied Soubrier with a controlled substance for him to give to a player, but she felt uncomfortable about the decision, told Soubrier and retrieved the medication before it was administered. The league found that Dr. Brown did not violate any policies.

“Portland Thorns FC remain committed to following all NWSL policies,” the Thorns said in a statement provided to The Oregonian “The club reported to the league and fully cooperated with the league’s investigation into the allegations of misconduct by head athletic trainer Pierre Soubrier and assistant coach Sophie Clough. Upon receiving the NWSL’s final investigative findings, the club has terminated the employment of both Soubrier and Clough. The health and safety of the players is our utmost priority.”