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NWSL News: NWSL terminates Pride coaches’ contracts over ‘retaliatory conduct’

The National Women’s Soccer League terminated the contracts of Orlando Pride coach Amanda Cromwell and assistant coach Sam Greene on Monday after the league found they had taken part in retaliatory conduct against players.

The two coaches were on administrative leave ever since June 6 while a joint investigation team looked into alleged “retaliation,” violating the league’s policy on discrimination, harassment and bullying.

“Cromwell’s and Greene’s employment contracts are terminated effective immediately,” the NWSL said in a statement. “Cromwell and Greene are ineligible to work in the NWSL in any capacity unless or until approved by the Commissioner.”

Pride chairman Mark Wilf released a statement Monday voicing his support for the league’s move.

“Our organization has received a review of the findings regarding retaliatory conduct toward Pride players and supports the actions taken by the National Women’s Soccer League, including the league’s decision to terminate the contracts of Amanda Cromwell and Sam Greene, effective immediately,” Wilf said.

“We recognize that hiring the Club’s next head coach is a critical step forward, and we will immediately begin a process to identify a leader that will embody the values of our organization, bring a competitive roster to the field and, most importantly, protect and advocate for our players.”

Cromwell, who took over the team in 2021 after stints as a collegiate head coach at UMBC, Central Florida and UCLA, released a statement of her own.

“I am saddened and disappointed by the results of the NWSL’s investigation released today,” Cromwell said. “I believe the investigation lacked transparency, professionalism and thoroughness and as a result my character and integrity have been mischaracterized.”

Cromwell claimed the accusation against her was based on her decision to waive an unnamed player over “performance and conduct that was detrimental to the team culture.” She said the Pride had approved her decision at the time.

Cromwell, 52, played for the U.S. women’s national team from 1991-1998.

Seb Hines has managed the team as interim coach since Cromwell was placed on leave. Orlando missed the NWSL playoffs.

An independent report by former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates released last week found that the league consistently failed to take action and did not “institute basic measures to prevent and address” widespread abuse by coaches.

Half the league’s 10 head coaches were fired in 2021 following players’ complaints, leading the league and the NWSLPA to retain Yates to conduct an investigation.

–Field Level Media

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