Northern Ireland news

Irish coach named in report detailing alleged 'systemic' abuse and sexual misconduct in US women's soccer

Suzanne McGonagle

AN Irishman has been named in a scathing report detailing alleged abuse and sexual misconduct by some senior coaches in US women’s soccer.

He was one of a number of coaches investigated by former acting US Attorney General Sally Yates after former National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) players came forward with allegations of harassment and sexual coercion.

The probe found that abuse and misconduct "had become systemic" in the top-flight NWSL.

"Our investigation has revealed a league in which abuse and misconduct – verbal and emotional abuse and sexual misconduct – had become systemic, spanning multiple teams, coaches, and victims," the report said.

The 172-page report includes detailed allegations that an Irish coach sent explicit photos and messages to a player and sexually assaulted her.

US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone called the investigation's findings "heartbreaking and deeply troubling."

A joint investigation between the league and its players' association is ongoing.

"We greatly appreciate our players, staff and stakeholders' cooperation with both investigations, especially during the ongoing season," the league said in a statement.

"We recognize the anxiety and mental strain that these pending investigations have caused and the trauma that many – including players and staff – are having to relive."

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