Alex Morgan says she told U.S. Soccer not to hire Paul Riley as USWNT coach

In a brand new ESPN documentary, Alex Morgan mentioned she told U.S. Soccer not to hire Paul Riley as U.S. girls’s nationwide group head coach in 2019.

Riley used to be a candidate to exchange Jill Ellis on the time after his monitor listing of on-field good fortune as head coach of the North Carolina Courage, and in the past with the Portland Thorns.

But a up to date ESPN document mentioned the Thorns had fired Riley for reason in 2015 following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. When Portland let Riley move, alternatively, the membership did not point out the investigation, which lead the way for him to get some other NWSL training activity with the Western New York Flash, which might ultimately transfer to North Carolina and turn into the Courage.

An upcoming episode of ESPN’s investigative sequence E60 titled “Truth Be Told – The Fight For Women’s Professional Soccer,” explores Riley’s case and different contemporary circumstances of abuse in girls’s football.

Morgan performed for the Portland Thorns between 2013 and 2015, all over which era her teammate Mana Shim confided to her that she have been matter to sexual harassment from Riley.

At the top of the 2015 common season, Shim despatched an e-mail to Thorns possession and managers as smartly as NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush informing them about her stories with Riley.

The allegations in opposition to Riley did not turn into public till 2021, when The Athletic revealed tale together with on-record feedback from Shim as smartly as accusations of harassment and coercion from former Thorns participant Sinead Farrelly.

When Riley’s title got here up for the USWNT activity in 2019, Morgan mentioned she did the whole thing she may to prevent it, including that U.S. Soccer told her they had been blind to any accusations in opposition to Riley.

“I did my part in stopping him from becoming head coach,” Morgan mentioned. “And that used to be sharing as a lot data as I may with the individuals who had been accountable for settling on the following head coach.

“The response by U.S. Soccer was no, they had never heard of this misconduct or harassment. Not the report that Mana submitted, not the investigation, and that this was a surprise to them.”

The Athletic article contained a remark from Thorns proprietor Merritt Paulson, announcing he knowledgeable the NWSL of the 2015 investigation into Riley. At the time, U.S. Soccer performed an lively position in operating the league.

ESPN reported this month that Paulson told Courage proprietor Steve Malik in 2019 that Riley will have to withdraw from attention from the USWNT activity, which might have helped disguise the true reason why for his departure from the Thorns.

“Truth Be Told – The Fight For Women’s Professional Soccer” will debut on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, streaming later on on ESPN+.

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