Probe finds emotional abuse, sexual misconduct in NWSL were systemic
This story is part of a four-part series where Inside Coverage spoke to experts on the National Women’s Soccer League.
WASHINGTON — The USWNT was already struggling in 2017, and the NWSL was just months old when the allegations against USSF president Greg Fenves were first brought to light.
And yet, within a year, the NWSL’s commissioner, Amanda Duffy, was being attacked in the media — with USWNT players like Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan herself saying Fenves was making unprofessional choices on their behalf, and without warning them.
Three years later, the fallout is still being fought by the USWNT and the NWSL — but it’s a fight that has continued to gain momentum as the 2020 Olympics approach.
The USWNT has been without a national team coach since July 2016, and since then, the NWSL has had their head coach as well as their technical director — but not their boss.
For many of the players in the NWSL, the question has been a simple one: If and when the USWNT finds a new coach — and they inevitably will — will they get fired and replaced?
The answer is a resounding no.
A year-and-a-half ago, that would have been almost inconceivable.
But the USWNT is in the midst of a coaching change, and that change began in July 2016 — the same month the USWNT found out about Fenves’ alleged inappropriate relationship with a player.
It was just that simple.
“There’s never been a time when the national team was in a situation like we are today,” said USWNT defender Jordan Morris. “We were always under attack. We were always under attack by a man who seemed to think he could get away with anything without anyone noticing.
“And the amount of people who have been speaking out against him, or at least were paying attention for a while, just made it even more obvious.”
It was not the first time the USWNT had been the target of a scandal