Former Thorns player Mana Shim takes job with U.S. Soccer

Mana Shim has made national headlines for coming out against her former pro soccer coach.
Mana Shim has made national headlines for coming out against her former pro soccer coach.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 4:58 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - There have been multiple changes since the release of the Yates Report regarding allegations of sexual misconduct and improper handling of reports of abusive behavior in the NWSL. Two Portland Thorns executives have been let go but on Monday, one former Thorns player has been hired.

Former Thorns player, Mana Shim has taken a job with U.S. Soccer, saying she wants to change the culture of soccer and set a new standard. Shim was one of the players to come forward accusing former Thorns coach, Paul Riley of sexual misconduct and emotional abuse in 2015.

Now, Shim isn’t just calling for change, she’s helping to lead it. A recent law school graduate, Shim accepted the position as Chair of the new Participant Safety Taskforce. The New York Times says she will oversee 25-30 people including players, coaches, psychologists, trainers, and team doctors. It also states, she will report to U.S. Soccer President, Cindy Parlow Cone and Chief Exec., JT Batson.

Shim released a statement, “For far too long, leaders across the soccer ecosystem- including U.S. Soccer- have not taken responsibility for protecting players.” She continues, “We need to find the root causes of our sport’s systemic failures and take action at every level- from the youth game to the professional game.”

She also mentions implementing recommendations from the report. Including:

1. Teams should be required to accurately disclose misconduct to the NWSL and USSF to ensure that abusive coaches do not move from team to team.

2.1.2. USSF should require that coaches annually attest to the accuracy of certain background information—for example, that they have not been the subject of any prior substantiated complaints of misconduct, and that they have adhered to applicable standards of conduct, including anti-harassment and retaliation policies—and inform coaches that false statements on licensing and application documents are a basis for termination.

5. USSF should require the NWSL to conduct annual training for players and coaches on applicable policies governing verbal and emotional abuse, sexual misconduct, harassment, and retaliation.

5.1 The NWSL’s training should clearly delineate behaviors that cross the line in real-life scenarios, and educate players and coaches about harassment, bullying, abusive behavior, and retaliation.

8.1. USSF should require the NWSL to conduct and review player surveys on an annual basis that include questions about coaching conduct, and the NWSL should share anonymized results with relevant teams and players.

NWSL Commissioner, Jessica Berman, spoke out over the NWSL Championship weekend.

“There’s nothing more important than us delivering on our promise to them and others that these players deserve and will play for a league that they feel proud to play in and that provides a healthy and safe environment for them To reach their potential,” says Commissioner Berman.

The NWSL has three goals and stages regarding the investigation, seeking the truth, corrective action, and systemic reform, and states they’re still in stage one.

In order for this lead to heal and for these players to trust the league in the future direction of the NWSL they have to know that that is the sole priority of the joint investigation,” says Berman.