National Women’s Soccer League cancels games following abuse claims


Washington Spirit forward Trinity Rodman (2) makes a move between several defenders during the NWSL game between Kansas City and Washington Spirit September 26, 2021 at Segra Field in Leesburg, VA.

Randy Litzinger | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

The National Women’s Soccer League has called off its weekend games amid sexual abuse allegations against former North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley.

“This week, and much of this season, has been incredibly traumatic for our players and staff, and I take full responsibility for the role I have played. I am so sorry for the pain so many are feeling,” National Women’s Soccer League Commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement Friday. “Recognizing that trauma, we have decided not to take the field this weekend to give everyone some space to reflect.”

The announcement comes after accusations of sexual coercion against Riley surfaced this week. As a result, the Courage on Thursday terminated Riley for his “very serious allegations of misconduct.” Riley has denied the allegations.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.