Dames resigns as Red Stars coach amid abuse allegations

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CHICAGO — Rory Dames resigned Monday as coach of the Chicago Red Stars, and the team said it has launched an independent review of player health and safety and the team’s culture after The Washington Post quoted several players saying Dames was emotionally abusive.

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Dames led the Red Stars to the National Women’s Soccer League title game, which Chicago lost on Sunday to the Washington Spirit. Washington won the title under an interim coach after coach Richie Burke was fired in September for violating the league’s anti-harassment policy. Spirit players had said Burke was verbally abusive.

Rory Dames is the latest of several NWSL coaches to face allegations of misconduct. Lisa Baird resigned as the league’s commissioner on Oct. 1 after two former players came forward with allegations of harassment, including sexual coercion, against North Carolina Courage coach Raul Riley, who was immediately fired by the Courage.

The league has launched an independent investigation into its handling of abuse claims, and U.S. Soccer, the sport’s governing body, has retained former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to lead its investigation into abusive behavior and sexual misconduct in women’s professional soccer.

The Washington Post reported that Dames did not respond to multiple requests for comment and resigned as the newspaper was preparing to publish its article. The Post said it spoke to seven players who alleged that Dames had been emotionally abusive to them or their teammates.

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Among those who spoke to The Post was Christen Press, who contributed to a formal complaint about Dames that was filed to U.S. Soccer in 2018. Dames kept his job and went on to become the NWSL’s longest-tenured coach.

“Things were happening that were inappropriate,” Press told The Post. “But I’d been told to be quiet, that this was fine.”

The Red Stars said in a statement that the goal of the review of team culture was to implement changes that would empower players.

“We stand with the players who are fiercely advocating for change, and we are committed to doing our part to ensure a safe environment for the League’s players, staff, volunteers and fans,” the team said.

Aminata Diallo of Paris Saint-Germain arrested after attack on teammate

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PARIS–) Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Aminata Diallo has been taken into police custody following an attack on other players from the women’s team, the club said.

PSG said in a statement that the 26-year-old Diallo was arrested on Wednesday morning by Versailles police following the attack that took place last Thursday evening.

“Paris Saint-Germain condemns in the strongest possible terms the violence committed,” PSG said. “Since Thursday evening the club has taken all necessary measures to guarantee the health, well-being and safety of its entire women’s team.”

PSG added that it will work closely with the Versailles police to clarify the facts.

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“The club is paying close attention to the progress of the proceedings and will study what action to take,” PSG said.

No other names were given, but several French media reports said that midfielder Kheira Hamraoui was attacked following an evening out with Diallo and another unnamed teammate.

Broadcaster BFM TV reported that Diallo was driving them back when several people wearing masks attacked, and that Hamraoui was hit several times with a metal bar and needed stitches to her hands and legs.

Hamraoui and Diallo are teammates on France’s national team.

Hamraoui re-joined PSG in the offseason from Barcelona and played in the Champions League semifinal as Barca knocked out PSG.

Hamraoui previously played for PSG from 2012-16, the year Diallo joined from Guingamp.

Detroit City announces USL move; NISA takes shots at departing champs

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Detroit City FC, one of the United States’ most prominent clubs outside of Major League Soccer, has joined the USL Championship ahead of the 2022 season, eschewing the upstart National Independent Soccer Association after several successful season.

The club started in 2012 with an amateur team in the National Premier Soccer League and joined the nascent professional NISA in 2020, winning two NISA Championships.

Detroit cited increased stability and exposure as the impetus for the move.

“It’s clear that the time is right for Detroit City FC to move forward by joining the USL Championship,” said Detroit City FC co-owner and chief executive officer Sean Mann. “This puts us on track to accomplish many of our shared objectives such as fielding a professional women’s side, enhancing our academy program, upgrading our facilities, and expanding our reach. Since 2012, our vision for Detroit City FC has been to become Detroit’s soccer club for all time. We strive to be the most inclusive, community-focused, and supporter-driven club in the USA.”

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USL boss Jake Edwards praised Detroit, saying, “it’s hard to find a better example of bringing a community together through soccer.”

NISA issued conditional well-wishes to DCFC on its departure, saying, “They are a quality organization that we wish well – if they respect the legal agreements and obligations the league and the member clubs have forged together. Announcing the jump before the season’s end, and not fulfilling its commitment to the 2022 season, brings into question sporting integrity. Also, it should be the baseline that USSF ensures that order, not chaos, exists in the U.S. system.”

The league also took Detroit to task for joining a “closed system,” as USL like all American professional leagues currently does not implement promotion and relegation. NISA has said it plans to introduce pro/rel when the league reaches an unspecified number of teams.

“It is surprising that Detroit City – a historically stalwart supporter of the open system – has chosen ‘franchise’ over ‘club;’ ‘closed’ over ‘open.’ NISA has many great storylines to carry us into 2022 and beyond. Those are our focus as we continue to champion independent American soccer.”

Detroit’s 41 points have already claimed the NISA title with matches to spare in a 10-team league with LA Force, California United, Michigan Stars, Stumptown Athletic, Chicago House, Maryland Bobcats, Chattanooga FC, New Amsterdam FC, and San Diego 1904.

New York Cosmos is on hiatus from NISA and four other teams have been announced for the future: New Jersey Teamsterz, Flower City Union (Rochester, N.Y.), Valley United FC (Phoenix), and AC Syracuse Pulse.

NBC Sports WSL 2021-22 schedule: How to watch, stream live, start times

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The 2021-22 Women’s Super League (WSL) is officially off and running, and below are details on how to watch some of the most important fixtures in the USA with the WSL schedule returning to our family of TV channels and digital platform.

[ MORE: NBC Sports Premier League schedule: How to watch, stream live ]

NBC Sports and ata football teamed in 2020-21 to present 50 Barclay’s FA WSL matches across their platforms. This season, NBC Sports’ coverage of Barclays FA WSL coverage increases to 57 matches, including two on NBC and the remainder across NBCSN, CNBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

(For the full release on NBC Sports’ exclusive partnership with ata football, click here)

In addition to their broadcast across NBC Sports properties, certain matches will be simulcast at atafootball.com. The site streams matches and exclusive highlights from around the world, as well as premium content via partners like Just Women’s Sports and The Equalizer, instructional videos, and virtual events. Users can subscribe to view live matches and gain unlimited content access at http://atafootball.com/members for $6.99/month or $4.99/month with an annual subscription.


The 2020-21 season was a banner campaign for the WSL, as the league’s profile grew considerably thanks in part to a title race that went down to the final day of the season in May.

Now, a year on from the first season of WSL fixtures on NBC Sports airwaves and digital platforms, two-time defending champions Chelsea will look to defend their title once again and become the first club (in the WSL era) to win back-to-back-to-back titles.

[ MORE: USL to debut women’s second-division pro league in 2023 ]

Manchester City pushed the Blues from start to finish, but ultimately came up two points short (57-55) after 22 games played. In the end, the difference between the sides was Chelsea’s emphatic head-to-head victory in game no. 4. They drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture, when only a victory could have brought Manchester City closer, though they still would have trailed on goal difference.

If you remove the two head-to-head matchups from a season ago, Chelsea finish with a record of 17W-2D-1L (53 points); Manchester City were 17W-3D-0L (54 points). Thin margins, as they say.

It’s looking like another Chelsea vs Manchester City title race — and that’s something we can all get behind, based on the evidence of last season — though 4th-place finishers Arsenal might also have their say over the next nine months.


NBC Sports WSL schedule: Dates, fixtures, how to watch in USA, stream online

Matchweek 5 (Saturday, Oct. 9 – Sunday, Oct. 10)

Manchester United 2-2 Manchester City – HIGHLIGHTS
Chelsea 2-0 Leicester CityHIGHLIGHTS
Brighton 2-1 Tottenham
Reading 3-0 Aston Villa
West Ham United 1-1 Birmingham City
Arsenal 3-0 Everton – HIGHLIGHTS


Matchweek 6 (Saturday, Nov. 6 – Sunday, Nov. 7)

Aston Villa 0-1 Chelsea
Everton 0-1 Brighton
Leicester City 1-4 Manchester City
Tottenham 1-1 Manchester United
Birmingham City 0-3 Reading
Arsenal vs West Ham United — Sunday, 1:45 pm ET


Matchweek 7 (Sunday, Nov. 14)

Everton vs Manchester United — Sunday, 8 am ET
Birmingham City vs Aston Villa — Sunday, 9 am ET
Tottenham vs Arsenal — Sunday, 9 am ET
Brighton vs Leicester City — Sunday, 9 am ET
Manchester City vs Chelsea — Sunday, 9 am ET
West Ham United vs Reading — Sunday, 9 am ET


Matchweek 8 (Sunday, Nov. 21)

Manchester United vs Arsenal — Sunday, 7 am ET
Leicester City vs Everton — Sunday, 9 am ET
Manchester City vs Aston Villa — Sunday, 9 am ET
Reading vs Brighton — Sunday, 9 am ET
Chelsea vs Birmingham City — Sunday, 9 am ET
West Ham United vs Tottenham — Sunday, 10 am ET


Matchweek 9 (Sunday, Dec. 12)

Everton vs West Ham United — Sunday, 8 am ET
Brighton vs Manchester United — Sunday, 9 am ET
Reading vs Chelsea — Sunday, 9 am ET
Birmingham City vs Manchester City — 9 am ET
Arsenal vs Leicester City — Sunday, 10 am ET
Aston Villa vs Tottenham — Sunday, 1 pm ET


Matchweek 10 (Sunday, Dec. 19)

Manchester United vs Aston Villa — Sunday, 7 am ET
Tottenham vs Everton — Sunday, 9 am ET
Leicester City vs Birmingham City — Sunday, 9 am ET
Manchester City vs Reading — Sunday, 9 am ET
Chelsea vs West Ham United — Sunday, 9 am ET
Arsenal vs Brighton — Sunday, 10 am ET


Matchweek 11 (Saturday, Jan. 8. – Sunday, Jan. 9)

Aston Villa vs Everton — Saturday, 7:30 am ET
Chelsea vs Tottenham — Sunday, 9 am ET
Reading vs Leicester City — Sunday, 9 am ET
Brighton vs Manchester City — Sunday, 9 am ET
Birmingham City vs Arsenal — Sunday, 9 am ET
West Ham United vs Manchester United — Sunday, 10 am ET


Matchweek 12 (Saturday, Jan. 15 – Sunday, Jan. 16)

Manchester United vs Birmingham City — Saturday, 7 am ET
Aston Villa vs Manchester City — Saturday, 7:30 am ET
Everton vs Chelsea — Sunday, 8 am ET
Tottenham vs West Ham United — Sunday, 9 am ET
Leicester City vs Brighton — Sunday, 9 am ET
Arsenal vs Reading — Sunday, 10 am ET


Matchweek 13 (Sunday, Jan. 23)

Manchester United vs Tottenham — Sunday, 7 am ET
Manchester City vs Arsenal — Sunday, 9 am ET
Brighton vs Chelsea — Sunday, 9 am ET
Leicester City vs Aston Villa — Sunday, 9 am ET
Reading vs Birmingham City — Sunday, 9 am ET
West Ham United vs Everton — Sunday, 10 am ET


Matchweek 14 (Sunday, Feb. 6)

Everton vs Reading — Sunday, 8 am ET
Chelsea vs Manchester City — Sunday, 9 am ET
Birmingham City vs Leicester City — Sunday, 9 am ET
Tottenham vs Brighton — Sunday, 9 am ET
Arsenal vs Manchester United — Sunday, 10 am ET
Aston Villa vs West Ham United — Sunday, 1 pm ET


Matchweek 15 (Sunday, Feb. 13)

Everton vs Aston Villa — Sunday, 8 am ET
Chelsea vs Arsenal — Sunday, 9 am ET
Manchester City vs Manchester United, Sunday, 9 am ET
Birmingham City vs Tottenham — Sunday, 9 am ET
Leicester City vs West Ham United — Sunday, 9 am ET
Brighton vs Reading — Sunday, 9 am ET


Matchweek 16 (Saturday, March 5 – Sunday, March 6)

Manchester United vs Leicester City — Saturday, 7 am ET
Aston Villa vs Brighton — Saturday, 7:30 am ET
Reading vs Tottenham — Sunday, 9 am ET
Manchester City vs Everton — Sunday, 9 am ET
Arsenal vs Birmingham City — Sunday, 10 am ET
West Ham United vs Chelsea — Sunday, 10 am ET


Matchweek 17 (Sunday, March 13)

Everton vs Leicester City — Sunday, 9 am ET
Reading vs Manchester United — Sunday, 10 am ET
Birmingham City vs West Ham United — Sunday, 10 am ET
Brighton vs Arsenal — Sunday, 10 am ET
Chelsea vs Aston Villa — Sunday, 10 am ET
Tottenham vs Manchester City — Sunday, 10 am ET


Matchweek 18 (Saturday, March 26 – Sunday, March 27)

Arsenal vs Tottenham — Saturday, TBD
Aston Villa vs Reading — Saturday, 8:30 am ET
Manchester United vs Everton — Sunday, 7 am ET
Manchester City vs Birmingham City — Sunday, 9 am ET
Leicester City vs Chelsea — Sunday, 9 am ET
West Ham United vs Brighton — Sunday, 10 am ET


Matchweek 19 (Sunday, April 3)

Manchester United vs Brighton — Sunday, 7 am ET
Tottenham vs Aston Villa – Sunday, 9 am ET
Birmingham City vs Everton — Sunday, 9 am ET
Chelsea vs Reading — Sunday, 9 am ET
Leicester City vs Arsenal — Sunday, 9 am ET
West Ham United vs Manchester City — Sunday, 10 am ET


Matchweek 20 (Sunday, April 24)

Everton vs Arsenal — Sunday, 8 am ET
Tottenham vs Chelsea — Sunday, 9 am ET
Brighton vs Birmingham City — Sunday, 9 am ET
Manchester City vs Leicester City — Sunday, 9 am ET
Reading vs West Ham United — Sunday, 9 am ET
Aston Villa vs Manchester United — Sunday, 1 pm ET


Matchweek 21 (Sunday, May 1)

Manchester United vs West Ham United — Sunday, 7 am ET
Everton vs Tottenham — Sunday, 8 am ET
Leicester City vs Reading — Sunday, 9 am ET
Manchester City vs Brighton — Sunday, 9 am ET
Birmingham City vs Chelsea — Sunday, 9 am ET
Arsenal vs Aston Villa — Sunday, 10 am ET


Matchweek 22 (Sunday, May 8)

West Ham United vs Arsenal — Sunday, 7:30 am ET
Aston Villa vs Birmingham City — Sunday, 7:30 am ET
Tottenham vs Leicester City — Sunday, 7:30 am ET
Chelsea vs Manchester United — Sunday, 7:30 am ET
Reading vs Manchester City — Sunday, 7:30 am ET
Brighton vs Everton — Sunday, 7:30 am ET


2021-22 FA WSL results

Matchweek 1 – (Friday, Sept. 3 – Sunday, Sept. 5)

Manchester United 2-0 Reading – HIGHLIGHTS
Everton 0-4 Manchester City – HIGHLIGHTS
Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester City
Tottenham 1-0 Birmingham City
Arsenal vs Chelsea — Sunday, 7:30 am ET [ HIGHLIGHTS ]
Brighton vs West Ham United — Sunday, 9 am ET


Matchweek 2 (Saturday, Sept. 11 – Sunday, Sept. 12)

West Ham United 1-1 Aston Villa – HIGHLIGHTS
Chelsea 4-0 Everton – HIGHLIGHTS
Leicester City 1-3 Manchester United
Birmingham City 0-5 Brighton
Reading 0-4 Arsenal
Manchester City 1-2 Tottenham – HIGHLIGHTS


Matchweek 3 (Saturday, Sept. 25 – Sunday, Sept. 26)

Everton 3-1 Birmingham City – HIGHLIGHTS 
Manchester United 1-6 Chelsea – HIGHLIGHTS
Brighton 0-1 Aston Villa
Tottenham 1-0 Reading
West Ham United 4-0 Leicester City
Arsenal 5-0 Manchester City – HIGHLIGHTS


Matchweek 4 (Saturday, Oct. 2 – Sunday, Oct. 3)

Chelsea 3-1 Brighton – HIGHLIGHTS
Aston Villa 0-4 Arsenal
Manchester City 0-2 West Ham United
Leicester City 0-2 Tottenham
Reading 0-3 Everton
Birmingham City 0-2 Manchester United – HIGHLIGHTS

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Manchester, NH ready to light up for the Manchester Derby

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All eyes will be on the Manchester Derby in Manchester, New Hampshire this Saturday (watch live, 8:30am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the New England town is ready to become blue or red.

Quite literally.

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If Manchester United wins, City Hall in the New Hampshire town will be lit up red. If Manchester City wins, it will be blue.

Earlier this week NBC Sports held a soccer clinic and event for youth players in Manchester, NH, where local residents are excited for the Manchester Derby almost 4,000 miles away.

That connection with Manchester, England is a strong one as the extremely enthusiastic Mayor of Manchester, NH, Joyce Craig (who dressed up as USWNT legend Megan Rapinoe for Halloween) explains.

“In 1810, our city was renamed Manchester by Samuel Blodgett, our city’s founder who envisioned Manchester, New Hampshire would become just as much of an industrial powerhouse as Manchester, England,” Craig explained.

“His vision came true, at one point, Manchester, New Hampshire was home to the largest textile manufacturing operation in the world. Today, our Millyard has transitioned from textiles to biomanufacturing and higher education — but is still reminiscent of the industrial manufacturing powerhouse of its namesake, Manchester, England.”


Red or blue? Manchester, NH is split too

The similarities of Manchester, NH and Manchester, England don’t end there, either.

One half is blue and one half is red.

“Just like the residents in Manchester, UK, residents of Manchester, New Hampshire are split down the middle,” Craig laughed when asked about the level of support for both Premier League teams.

“We’ve definitely seen soccer growing in popularity, especially among our younger residents,” Craig continued. “Soccer is one of our most popular high school sports, and we just installed a new mini-pitch in partnership with Southern New Hampshire University, Major League Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Federation.

“In the warmer months, pickup soccer games are played constantly, you can see it anytime you drive by any one of our city parks and support for the U.S. women’s national team is growing all of the time too.”

Game continues to grow in New Hampshire

Earlier in the week NBC Sports put on a soccer clinic in the New Hampshire town as local youth players were enjoyed coaching and more.

There were t-shirt giveaways of the red of Manchester United and the blue of Manchester City, plus life-size player cut outs and murals for photo opportunities, plus the gigantic Premier League ball stood pride of place at Gill Stadium.

 

The gap between Manchester, England and Manchester, New Hampshire has well and truly been bridged.

“We’re thankful for the connection that we have all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, and can’t wait to take part in this historic rivalry,” Craig added. “It’s always fun to see kids playing sports and staying active. We have eight different youth soccer leagues in Manchester. I know our young soccer players loved to participate in the youth clinic hosted by some of their favorite teams.”

So, will Manchester, New Hampshire be Red or Blue this Saturday?

“Fans of the winning team will be excited to see City Hall lit up in their team’s colors. Although, most folks might think the blue and red is in honor of the most popular American football team here, the New England Patriots!” Craig joked.


Premier League hometowns

This initiative continues the drive from NBC Sports to showcase how American towns with the same name, or other connections, have embraced the PL and its clubs, who are based thousands of miles away.

Here are just some of the stories we’ve highlighted during the 2021-22 season: