NWSL Suspends Former Spirit Coach, Portland Staff

Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced new suspensions this week as investigations closed in Portland and Washington.

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Former Spirit head coach Kris Ward has been barred indefinitely from the NWSL.

Ward was found to have “engaged in overly aggressive behavior and harassment through negative racial stereotyping towards a player in violation of league policy.”

At the time of his firing in August, players had raised concerns about “verbal abuse and emotional misconduct.”

Thorns assistant coach Sophia Clough and head trainer Pierre Sobrier were also suspended, and have had their employment with Portland terminated.


Clough was found to have acted inappropriately towards a player at a celebration after the team’s 2022 NWSL championship win.

Soubrier, who is married to Crystal Dunn, was found to have given a medication containing the controlled substance codeine to players on multiple occasions without a prescription or physician supervision.


The NWSL season is right around the corner.

The window for club preseason began this week, with teams reassembling on their own timelines between January 23 and February 6.
The early days of preseason usually include fitness testing and medicals.

Read Also Bettitude Women’s Footballer Of 2022

The NWSL regular season begins on March 25, the earliest start date since 2018.
The trade window is still open, so we may not have seen the end of roster moves.
With players back in market, the vibes are strong.

OL Reign midfielder Jess Fishlock shared a glimpse into her first day on Twitter: “I have peaked in life. At my medical today … I have in fact grown. I am now officially the tallest I have ever been in my life & honestly .. it feels great. A steady 5’3 was confirmed this morning. Watch out NWSL. 🤪”

Kindly Email: keepup@bettitude.com

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