Thorns fireplace assistant, coach after NWSL probe


The husband of United States ladies’s crew defender Crystal Dunn illegally distributed a managed substance to Portland Thorns gamers in his position because the crew’s athletic coach, the Nationwide Ladies’s Soccer League introduced following an out of doors investigation.

The coach, Pierre Soubrier, was fired on Tuesday together with Thorns assistant coach Sophie Clough. The NWSL, beset in recent times by abuse and misconduct allegations, stated Clough made undesirable contact with a participant.

– NWSL abuse timeline: What occurred and when?

The league additionally stated abuse allegations towards former Washington Spirit coach Kris Ward have been substantiated and he’s ineligible to work within the NWSL with out the commissioner’s approval. An investigation concluded Ward engaged in “negative racial stereotyping toward a player.”

Thorns crew doctor Dr. Breanne Brown reported in November that Soubrier had given gamers a medicine containing codeine the earlier month with out a prescription.

Thorns coach Rhian Wilkinson resigned final month after main the crew to the NWSL title and proprietor Merritt Paulson put up the crew on the market. Wilkinson stated she was investigated and cleared of wrongdoing by the NWSL and its gamers’ union after she self-reported that she and a participant had developed emotions for each other however had by no means acted upon them.

An investigation by former Lawyer Common Sally Q. Yates revealed in October that abuse within the league was systemic, and a report by the league and its union final month discovered widespread misconduct.

Soubrier, 35, was born in France, performed faculty soccer at Quinnipiac in Connecticut and was employed by the Thorns in 2019. Dunn, a 2019 World Cup champion who has made 128 worldwide appearances, met Soubrier whereas they each have been with Washington. They married in December 2018. Dunn was not cited for misconduct by the NWSL.

When contacted by The Related Press, Soubrier declined remark right now on the league’s assertion.

He was positioned on paid administrative go away Dec. 7, and the investigation decided “Soubrier was found to have administered the controlled substance to the players on multiple occasions without a prescription and physician supervision which is a violation of federal and state laws and league policy. Further, Soubrier administered the medication to one of the players without her informed consent.”

Brown informed an investigator he had supplied Soubrier in a single occasion on the coach’s request entry to a managed substance to offer to a participant if essential. Brown then turned uncomfortable and retrieved the substance.

Soubrier was suspended by the league with out pay by means of the top of the 2023 season, and the NWSL stated it would report him to the Oregon Board of Athletic Trainers and the Board of Certification. The league stated the crew had fired Soubrier and he shall be eligible for future NWSL employment topic to the Oregon state choices and necessities as alongside as “he acknowledges wrongdoing and accepts personal responsibility for his conduct and demonstrates a sincere commitment to correcting his behavior.”

The league stated Brown shall be topic to elevated oversight by and reporting to the NWSL chief medical officer for 3 months, then shall be assessed.

U.S. Soccer Federation President Cindy Parlow Cone referred a query on the matter to spokesman Neil Buethe, who stated the group declined remark.

The league stated it was informed by the Thorns in November that Clough “made a player feel uncomfortable by kissing her neck at the team’s championship celebration.” The NWSL stated undesirable contact in violation of league coverage was substantiated, however claims of bullying habits weren’t substantiated and “Clough did not exceed the bounds of appropriate coaching.”

Clough, 34, had been a Thorns assistant coach since 2016. She additionally was suspended with out pay by means of the 2023 season by the league and was fired by the crew.

Clough shall be eligible for an additional job within the league if she “participates in training related to discrimination, harassment and bullying, demonstrates a clear commitment to correcting behavior and acknowledges wrongdoing and accepts personal responsibility for inappropriate conduct.”

Ward, 43, coached Washington to the 2020 NWSL title, then was fired final August throughout a 15-game winless streak. The league stated it was informed by the Spirit that month that gamers “raised concerns about verbal abuse and emotional misconduct” by Ward throughout a coaching session. The league stated the investigation discovered Ward “engaged in overly aggressive behavior and harassment through negative racial stereotyping towards a player.”

The NSWL stated Ward wants approval from the league commissioner to be eligible for future employment and “must participate in mandatory training related to discrimination, harassment, bullying and racial bias” and has to “acknowledge wrongdoing and accept personal responsibility for inappropriate conduct.”

Clough and Ward couldn’t be contacted by the AP.

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