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US Soccer report on NWSL abuse: What you need to know

Portland Thorns defender Meghan Klingenberg takes a corner kick against Racing Louisville FC at Providence Park. (Craig Mitchelldyer/USA TODAY Sports)

The full findings of U.S. Soccer’s investigation into the NWSL were released Monday, and they outline a pattern of systemic abuse and failures by league coaches and executives.

Just Women’s Sports summarizes key findings from the 172-page report below.

Christy Holly, former Racing Louisville and Sky Blue FC coach

Paul Riley, former Thorns, Flash and Courage coach

Rory Dames, former Red Stars coach and youth club owner

  • Created a “sexualized team environment” for his youth club, in which he spoke to players “about foreplay, oral sex and their sex lives.”
    • That environment “crossed the line to sexual relationships in multiple cases, though those relationships may have begun after the age of consent.”
  • USWNT players, including Christen Press, reported to Gulati and Ellis in 2014 that Dames created a hostile environment with the Chicago Red Stars.
    • In 2014 and 2015, player surveys reported Dames as “abusive” and “unprofessional.”
    • In 2018, Press formally complained to USSF for a second time, saying Dames “emotionally abused” players.
    • In 2021, a sports psychologist hired by the Red Stars found that 70% of the club’s players reported emotionally abusive behavior.
  • Red Stars owner Arnim Whisler was told by players starting in 2014 that Dames was emotionally and verbally abusive.
  • Dames was pushed to resign in 2021, but the Red Stars omitted the allegations of abuse and misconduct in their announcement of his resignation.
    • Dames continues to own his youth club.
  • Read more:

U.S. Soccer investigation

U.S. Soccer recommendations