U.S. Soccer says an investigation into alleged abuse and misconduct in the Women’s National Soccer League is expected to be completed by early next month.
The investigation, led by former acting U.S. Attorney Sally Yates, began last fall after North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley was accused of sexual harassment and coercion by two former players.
Riley was fired and league commissioner Lisa Byrd was fired in the wake of the player claims. U.S. Soccer and the NWSL and their players’ associations announced separate investigations.
U.S. Soccer released a brief statement Monday about the status of its investigation: “Last October, U.S. Soccer retained Sally Q. Yates of King & Spalding LLP to investigate misconduct and sexual misconduct in women’s professional soccer. lead an independent investigation into the conduct allegations. That investigation is nearing completion. U.S. Soccer will release a full report in early October after the investigation is complete.
Riley was one of five NWSL coaches either fired or fired amid allegations of inappropriate behavior last season.
In Riley’s case, the alleged misconduct spanned more than 10 years, and spanned his time with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2014-15. The league was informed of the allegations, but Torrance did not make them public. Riley went on to coach elsewhere in the league.
U.S. Soccer said at the time it launched the investigation that Yates would be independent in its investigation.
“The scope of our investigation is broad,” Yates said in a statement in February. “We investigate not only allegations of misconduct, but also factors that may have contributed to, perpetuated, or covered up the abuse. Our job is to find the truth and make recommendations to ensure that the players are Respectful treatment is provided, wrongdoing is exposed and addressed, and players are protected from harassment or retaliation.