On the eve of what was due to be a crucial match in the playoff race between the Chicago Red Stars and Orlando Pride, the league and teams announced that the match would be postponed. The date the game will be played is still to be determined. The Pride, who were set to travel to Chicago for the game at Bridgeview, were already at the airport when the decision was made to postpone the match.
The postponement was part of a decision collectively made by the NWSL Players Association and the League following The Athletic’s publication of allegations of misconduct against now-former North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley. All five matches this weekend, two on Friday and three on Saturday, were affected. Riley was immediately fired by the Courage, and U.S. Soccer has revoked his coaching license.
“Business as usual isn’t our concern right now. Our entire league has a great deal of healing to do, and our players deserve so much better. We have made this decision in collaboration with our players association and this pause will be the first step as we collectively work to transform the culture of this league, something that is long overdue,” said NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird in an official statement. She also remarked that she takes responsibility for the role she played.
Red Stars Chief Business Officer Vicky Lynch also put put out a statement on behalf of the club, stating that “the abuse of power must stop. Looking the other way must stop. Not listening to victims must stop. We, the entire Red Stars organization, are committed to making that happen.”