Becky Sauerbrunn at a USA international match in 2019
Photo: Matt Slocum/AP
The abuse of female soccer players in the US professional league NWSL, which was denounced in an investigation report, and the incorrect handling of it has led to the first personnel consequences.
The Portland Thorns announced on Tuesday (local time) that owner Merritt Paulson and managers Gavin Wilkinson and Mike Golub are staying out of any decisions regarding the team, effective immediately, pending the completion of the league's investigation.
Ahead of the USA's international match against England at Wembley, national team player Becky Sauerbrunn had previously demanded that no one should be allowed to keep their post who had been involved in coaches being allowed to continue working in the league despite known allegations.
"I believe that every owner and CEO and official of the US federation who has repeatedly failed the players and failed to protect us, who has hidden behind paragraphs and who has not fully cooperated with this investigation, go away have to," said the captain in London.
"The players are not doing well," she said.
"We are appalled, heartbroken, frustrated and exhausted and very, very angry."
Former US Attorney General Sally Q. Yates wrote in her investigative report published on Monday that abuse in the women's professional league was "deep-rooted" - starting in the youth leagues.
Her commission found a league in which "systematic abuse and sexual misconduct" were the order of the day.
The investigation was launched after two former players, Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim, made allegations of molestation and sexual assault against Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley.
Riley had previously worked for the Portland Thorns, but the collaboration there ended after just one year without giving any reason.
Yates and her commission spoke to more than 200 players from the professional league NWSL, including some national players.