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The Associated Press
Former Chicago Red Stars coach Rory Dames has been accused of misconduct stretching back decades when he was a youth team coach, well before he joined the National Women’s Soccer League team, according to a published report.
The accusations, which included verbal and emotional abuse and other inappropriate behavior, were detailed by The Washington Post in a story published Tuesday. An elite youth player, who was not named by the Post, also claimed that Dames groomed her for a sexual encounter once she turned 18.
Dames was investigated by police in Arlington Heights, Illinois, in 1998 after a former player said he inappropriately touched her when she was underage. The investigation was dropped because no formal complaint was filed.
Dames was one of five coaches in the NWSL who stepped down or were fired last season for misconduct.
Former North Carolina coach Paul Riley was fired after two players, Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim, accused him of sexual harassment and coercion. Those accusations prompted both the NWSL and U.S. Soccer to open investigations, and led to the resignation of NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird.
Dames abruptly resigned last November ahead of a report in the Post that said former players, including national team forward Christen Press, had gone to U.S. Soccer with complaints about Dames going back to 2014.
Sarah Spain, an ESPN reporter who has an ownership stake in the Red Stars, posted on social media: “It’s the same story, over & over again. Across different sports, leagues & countries. The power to change a life & career wielded over girls & boys. Control over a sport they love. A system built to shame & silence. This is sickening, and so many let it keep happening.”