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Paul Riley has been accused of sexual coercion by several former players. (www.AndyMead/YCJPhoto)

North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley has been accused of sexual coercion by former players he has coached on several women’s teams, according to a story in The Athletic.

According to a story by Meg Linehan, one of the players, Sinead Farrelly played for Riley on the Philadelphia Independence, New York fury and Portland Thorns. Farrelly said she “felt under his control.”

In the story that was posted today (9/30/21), Farrelly related several incidents in which she felt she was coerced into having sex with her coach.

Another former Portland player, Meleana Shim, added that “I felt from the beginning like I owed him.”

Here is a link to The Athletic story:

https://theathletic.com/2857633/202...cuse-prominent-coach-of-sexual-coercion/

Riley has strong ties to Long Island.

The Athletic reported that Riley, through an email, responded to 23 questions from The Athletic about the alleged incidents. In the email, he said that the majority of the allegations were “completely untrue.”

“I have never had sex with, or made sexual advances towards these players,” he wrote.

A Zoom press conference previewing the Courage’s next game was postponed.

The NWSL Players Association issued a statement about systemic abuse in the NWSL:

“We, the players of the NWSL, stand with Sinead Farrelly, Mana Shim, Kaiya McCullough, and each of the players who have brought their stories into the light – both known and unknown. Words cannot adequately capture our anger, pain, sadness, and disappointment.

“To the players who suffer in silence, know that the Players Association holds a safe space for you. We stand ready to confidentially offer you resources and support. You are not alone.

“We refuse to be silent any longer. Our commitment as players is to speak truth to power. We will no longer be complicit in a culture of silence that has enabled abuse and exploitation in our league and in our sport.

“The very lack of basic and fundamental protections that ensure dignity at work are part of what has led to stories like those that have come out this season. NWSL and its Clubs must act swiftly to implement changes that would protect current and future players. The opportunity to do this is right now in our first contract negotiation. In the face of systemic abuse, players demand greater control over their lives and careers.”

The NWSLPA also asked for the NWSL disclose how Paul Riley was hired within the league after departing from another club subsequent to an investigation into abusive conduct during the bargaining session scheduled for Friday.

Riley, 57, is one of the most successful coaches in women’s professional soccer and was a candidate for the U.S. women’s national team and England national side positions. He guided the Western New York Flash to the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League crown and the Courage to the 2018 and 2019 titles. He also was named the Women’s Professional Soccer coach of the year in the 2011 and earned similar NWSL honors in 2017 and 2018.

A native of England, Riley starred at Adelphi University and went on to become captain of the Long Island Rough Riders, who won the 1995 U.S. Interregional Soccer League crown. He also directed the Rough Riders to the USL Pro League title in 2002.

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Well, this a quite a story, but no surprise to BOTN. Stories of Riley and some of his coaches, most notably Adrian Gaitan have papered the BOTN Message Board for quite a while bck when Paul was still with Albertson SC...now he is part of susa. I'm curious to see how susa spins their way out of this one?

“I look forward to providing advisory support to susa in college recruiting, the pathway to professional soccer, and developing nationally competitive players. susa has the resources and talent to be the face of Long Island soccer and I am thrilled for their future. I am always striving to provide the optimal environment for our players to develop and move to the next level. The scattering of top players and talent is an obstacle to player development. There will be no other logical choice for a player that wants to compete at youth soccer’s elite level. With the fragmented youth soccer market on Long Island, this collaboration is one that puts the interest of all of our players first.” - Paul Riley, NC

Courage Head Coach.

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get your kids laid at susa

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“We recognize the significant achievements that Paul Riley has made as a pioneer of Long Island soccer and grateful for his support for our vision."

Moussa Sy, Co-President of SUSA Soccer Training.

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Real Time NWSL Investigation Soccer news

‘This guy has a pattern’: Amid institutional failure, former NWSL players accuse prominent coach of sexual coercion

By Meg Linehan

On a July night in 2014, in the waning minutes of a NWSL regular season match between Portland Thorns FC and the Chicago Red Stars, Sinead Farrelly collapsed on the field at the Benedictine University Sports Complex. She had stepped up to defend an opposing player only a moment before, but was nowhere near the ball when she fell. The commentator for the game noted she had done plenty of running, but there was no clear explanation for why she had gone down. After a few moments, she was able to walk off the field under her own power, with the Thorns’ athletic trainer beside her. She was not limping; she was not examined for a head injury; there was nothing that might have hinted at why she collapsed.

Farrelly was a regular starter for Portland. She was 24 years old, firmly in the prime of her career, a box-to-box midfielder who had maintained a place at the highest level of women’s soccer, even as one professional league folded and another was formed. She had twice been invited to U.S. national team camps.

She arrived in Portland at the start of that 2014 season; the third team she had played for coached by Paul Riley. He selected her with the Philadelphia Independence’s second overall pick in the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer College Draft. Then, in 2012, when WPS folded and Riley moved to coach a semi-pro team on Long Island, Farrelly joined him there. Then, they reunited again in Portland.

​​“He really ingrained in my brain that I had a lot of potential, was one of the best players he’d ever seen — but I needed the right coach to get me to where I wanted to go,” Farrelly said. “And that’s what he did, he took players and he made them great.”

In Philadelphia, during her rookie season, Riley gave her special attention and gradually lowered the boundaries between player and coach.

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Alex Morgan, others react:

USWNT star Alex Morgan, who participated in The Athletic's story, shared further thoughts on Twitter following its publication. "Mana and Sinead, we support you and are in your corner," she said. "I am sickened and have too many thoughts to share at this moment. Bottom line: protect your players. Do the right thing @NWSL"

Portland Thorns supporters group Rose City Riveters also shared a comment, concluding "We won't stand idly by."

And North Carolina Courage co-owner Sara Toussaint tweeted, "We cannot thrive as a league without facing truths, taking accountability, & making changes."

-----------------------------------------

NWSL Players' Association responds

The union representing NWSL players put out a statement in response to The Athletic's story soon after it published, saying that "words cannot adequately capture our anger, pain, sadness, and disappointment."

The statement references The Athletic's story about Paul Riley in addition to recent revelations about the club culture at the Washington Spirit (as reported by the Washington Post). In it, the NWSLPA lists three demands, each with a deadline of October 1:

That the NWSL start a new, independent investigation into the allegations against Riley.
That any league or club staff who are accused of conduct that violates the league's anti-harassment policy be suspended pending investigation, regardless of when the conduct in question occurred.

That the NWSL disclose how Paul Riley was re-hired within the league after the Thorns' initial investigation in 2015.
The NWSLPA also provided a sports psychologist for players who need support and pledged to provide an anonymous hotline for players seeking to report abuse.

"NWSL has failed us," the statement concludes. "We are taking our power back."

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Similarities to gov Cuomo. Guys that have achieved huge success with monster ego's that have treated people terribly for decades. It all comes out in the end

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Originally Posted by Larry Miller
“We recognize the significant achievements that Paul Riley has made as a pioneer of Long Island soccer and grateful for his support for our vision."

Moussa Sy, Co-President of SUSA Soccer Training.

What does JR think?

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Larry Miller
“We recognize the significant achievements that Paul Riley has made as a pioneer of Long Island soccer and grateful for his support for our vision."

Moussa Sy, Co-President of SUSA Soccer Training.

What does JR think?


A better question is what do the girls and parents at susa think? JR might be thinking,"am I next?", but what about the parents and coaches since Riley is a part of the susa family?

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Just add him to the list of creepy dirtbag coaches at susa. But they have a nice facility and play in the ECNL so I don’t mind having my kids abused mentally and sexually.

These guys don’t discriminate it’s not only players they prey on it’s married moms as well.

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Lisa Baird the commissioner is going to go down with him. She protected him. Why? Because he is, and always will be SLICK!

Huge groundswell on Twitter by lots and lots of connected people. This will spiral out of Slick's control. People and Players are piling on very quickly

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Just add him to the list of creepy dirtbag coaches at susa. But they have a nice facility and play in the ECNL so I don’t mind having my kids abused mentally and sexually.

These guys don’t discriminate it’s not only players they prey on it’s married moms as well.

This is not new to LI. For years parents and organizations are tone deaf when it comes to having girls with males who are known to have a history of taking advantage of them.

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Slick has all the money buried, don't worry about him

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Slick has all the money buried, don't worry about him

[****] him!! what about the ladies and girls?

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Slick has all the money buried, don't worry about him
Good, he can use it for his legal team

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Larry is your view susa should have known better than to get in bed with this guy, no pun intended. Were there rumors going around about him prior?

I know lately you’ve taken every chance you get to dig at susa just wondering if this is a valid one…

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Larry you mention Riley and Adrian Gaitan during their times with Albertson SC SC. DOonot forget Mike Demaklis who was also with Albertson SC SC and while there accused on inappropriate behaviors with female athletes. He was fired by PRSS. What scares me to think is if we classify RIley as a "predator", he has been involved with youth girls soccer for 20-30-40 years, how many possible victims are out there who have stayed quiet for so long? Larry you want to hear susa response, how about Albertson SC SC response who now have had Gaitan, Demakis, and RIley accused of these despicable actions.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Larry is your view susa should have known better than to get in bed with this guy, no pun intended. Were there rumors going around about him prior?

I know lately you’ve taken every chance you get to dig at susa just wondering if this is a valid one…


ABSOLUTELY!! I cant count the number of times I have told that to Moussa. warned him over and over as I did with JR. My JR story will be out within 4 weeks. I realized I did not have a certain piece of documentation that would help with my story and I need to wait 4 weeks before it is sent to me.

The JR story coming on the heels of this story couldnt be better timing. Since i do not know other coaches at susa I cant comment on what, if anything, I heard about them. susa carefully does not publish their list of coaches, and I guess it is for good reason.

As far as your comment about me taking a 'dig' every chance I get about susa, yes that is close to accurate. Dont you think they should be called out for all their mishegas. susa is not above anyone nor are they the savior of youth soccer. They're a bank with a lot of ATM Machines.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Larry you mention Riley and Adrian Gaitan during their times with ALbertson SC. DOonot forget Mike Demaklis who was also with Albertson SC and while there accused on inappropriate behaviors with female athletes. He was fired by PRSS. What scares me to think is if we classify RIley as a "predator", he has been involved with youth girls soccer for 20-30-40 years, how many possible victims are out there who have stayed quiet for so long? Larry you want to hear SUSA response, how about Albertson SC response who now have had Gaitan, Demakis, and RIley accused of these despicable actions.


You are correct. In my defense, I have written chapter and verse on all three of the pervs...the question is was anybody listening? In the case of adrian, the girl he was porking got a full ride and I actually spoke to the father who had no problems with his underage daughter and Adrian who was married with children while this was going on....susa believes they are invincible. Nothing wrong with testing the waters. This incident tying them to Riley sure doesn't add a gold star next to their name.

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Who was the LI coach that got suspended for a full year from the toothless USSF. For that to happen you know it had to be absolutley awful

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WOW that was fast!

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Originally Posted by Larry Miller
“We recognize the significant achievements that Paul Riley has made as a pioneer of Long Island soccer and grateful for his support for our vision."

Moussa Sy, Co-President of SUSA Soccer Training.

That’s not from today, is it?

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