CNN

Orlando Pride women’s professional soccer team head coach Amanda Cromwell and first assistant coach Sam Greene have been fired for “engaging in retaliatory acts” against players who they believe formulated or supported allegations of misconduct against them, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced on Monday. .

This comes just a week after a bombshell independent report uncovered systemic abuse and misconduct within women’s professional soccer in the United States, including a failure of the NWSL, under the United States Soccer Federation (USSF ), to provide a safe environment for players.

In March, an investigation by Orlando Pride’s attorney was launched into allegations of verbal abuse and inappropriate favoritism of players by Cromwell, and allegations of inappropriate favoritism of players by Greene, the court said. NWSL.

The investigation led to a written warning for both coaches, the NWSL said in a preview of the investigation.

In May, the league’s Joint Investigation Team and its players’ association (NWSLPA) received reports that Cromwell and Greene were retaliating against players they suspected of initiating, participating and supporting the initial investigation.

A second investigation by the joint NWSL/NWSLPA investigative team found that Cromwell and Greene behaved in a manner that “discouraged reporting and fostered a general fear of retaliation”, including seeking to waive or trade players, the league said in a statement Monday.

The league has terminated its contracts, effective immediately, according to Orlando Pride President Mark Wilf.

The league and players’ association investigation also revealed that goalkeeper coach Aline Reis had not fully cooperated with the investigation and was “pressuring players to share information.” favorable with the investigators.

During this time, the entire Pride organization will undergo mandatory training on retaliation, discrimination, harassment and bullying, the NWSL added.

Cromwell, Greene, Reis and assistant coach Michelle Akers complained of various forms of misconduct – the claims a third-party investigator found were “unsubstantiated”, the NWSL added.

Cromwell replied to the news calling the investigation “biased and incomplete”, adding that “its character and integrity have been misinterpreted”.

“There is no doubt that there has been a culture of abuse in the NWSL. I recognize the importance of due process and the need for the NWSL to investigate all complaints.

“However, abusive behavior in the NWSL goes beyond players. All of the women in my coaching staff have raised serious concerns about the work environment and I will be looking at all legal options,” she said.

Cromwell and Greene are not permitted to work in the NWSL in any capacity unless or until approved by the Commissioner.

Reis has been placed on unpaid administrative leave until she completes a series of steps to be reinstated, the NWSL said. CNN has reached out to Reis and Greene for comment.



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