Orlando Pride coach, assistant fired for misconduct, retaliation against players

The head coach and first assistant coach of Orlando Pride have been terminated from their positions after a months-long investigation revealed misconduct and retaliation against their players.

The National Women’s Soccer League announced the terminations through a statement issued on Monday, after multiple months of investigation into allegations of misconduct within the Orlando Pride organization.

In March, the NWSL began investigating allegations of verbal abuse and improper favoritism towards Orlando Pride players by head coach Amanda Cromwell and first assistant coach Sam Greene. After some of those allegations were substantiated, Cromwell and Greene received written warnings and Cromwell was required to participate in leadership training.

Two months after the findings, in May, players came forward to report that Cromwell and Greene were engaging in retaliatory conduct towards those who they believed had initiated, participated in, and were supportive of the March investigation.

After a thorough investigation, a joint investigative team found that Cromwell and Greene engaged in retaliation against players they believed had made or supported the earlier misconduct allegations against them. According to NWSL, Cromwell and Greene engaged in conduct that “discouraged reporting and fostered a general fear of retaliation,” and took negative actions against certain players, including seeking to waive or trade them.

In June, Cromwell, Greene and an assistant coach and player all raised complaints that they were subjected to various forms of misconduct. After a thorough investigation by a third party investigator, the complaints were found to be unsubstantiated.

“As we continue to build a league as elite as the players on the pitch, it is critically important that we foster a culture where individuals can safely come forward with concerns without fear of reprisal,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman. “These retaliation concerns were identified during the NWSL/NWSLPA Joint Investigation and interim measures were put in place due to the ongoing nature of the misconduct.”

Both Cromwell and Greene are now ineligible to work in the NWSL in any capacity, “unless or until approved by the Commissioner,” according to the statement.

In October 2021, the NWSL and NWSL Players Association launched an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct toward NWSL players by individuals in positions of power, as well as systemic issues in the League that impact the prevention, detection, and handling of misconduct. The investigation has led to the termination of multiple, top-level officials across the league.

In a statement issued by Orlando Pride Chairman Mark Wilf, the organization expressed support for the NWSL decision.

“Our Club is dedicated to providing a safe, inclusive and respectful environment, and we apologize to our players who may have experienced otherwise. We are committed to learning from this process as we continue to build and grow the Pride into the premier organization our players and fans deserve. As a step in that process, we will be implementing anti-retaliation training for all Pride staff members, on both the Soccer Operations side and in the front office,” said Wilf.

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