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Orlando Pride

NWSL terminates contracts of Orlando Pride coaches following abuse investigation

10:53 PM WAT 10/10/2022
NWSL support sign
The NWSL has released its findings from an investigation into alleged misconduct within the Orlando Pride organisation.
  • Investigation finds abuse allegations substantiated
  • Head coach and first assistant contracts terminated
  • Goalkeeping coach placed on administrative leave

WHAT HAPPENED? The NWSL have conducted several investigations into allegations of misconduct within the Orlando Pride organisation. They have released the findings of the investigations and as a result head coach Amanda Cromwell and first assistant coach Same Greene's employment contracts have been terminated, effective immediately. Goalkeeper coach Aline Reis has been placed on administrative leave as it was found she did not fully cooperate with the investigation, in violation of league policy.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Cromwell and Greene were originally investigated in March 2022 due to allegations of verbal abuse and improper favouritism of players. Some of the allegations were substantiated and as a result they were given verbal warnings. The NWSL/NWSLPA Joint Investigative Team received reports in May 2022 that the two were engaging in retaliatory conduct towards players who they they believed had initiated, participated in, and were supportive of the March investigation. Based on a thorough inquiry, these allegations were substantiated. In June 2022, Cromwell, Greene, Reis and assistant coach Michelle Akers raised complaints that they themselves were subject to various forms of misconduct. Through a third-party investigator the league looked into these claims and found that the complaints were unsubstantiated.

AND WHAT'S MORE: The results of this probe come not long after the NWSL was rocked by the findings of the Yates report earlier this month. The investigation found multiple incidents of coach wrongdoing across the women's game, as well as a series of systems that enabled such behaviour to continue for years.

WHAT THEY SAID: NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said: “As we continue to build a league as elite as the players on the pitch, it is critically important that we foster a culture where individuals can safely come forward with concerns without fear of reprisal."

Cromwell also released a statement regarding the termination of her contract. She said: "I am saddened and disappointed by the results of the NWSL's investigation released today. I believe the investigation lacked transparency, professionalism and thoroughness and as a result my character and integrity have been mischaracterised." She has said she will be reviewing all legal options.

In a statement, Orlando Pride chairman Mark Wilf said: "Our club is dedicated to providing a safe, inclusive and respectful environment, and we apologise to our players who may have experienced otherwise."

WHAT NEXT FOR THE NWSL? The NWSL is undergoing a period of systematic change following the Yates report last week.