Cook, like Sauerbrunn, said that as players come forward to uncover and document years of abuse, the responsibility to remove problem coaches, executives and owners rests with the sport’s leadership.
“For a long time the players had to speak out,” Cook said. “It shouldn’t be on us anymore.”
Sauerbrunn and Cook spoke in London, where the United States will play European champions England in an exhibition match on Friday night. The players and their coach, Vlatko Andonovsky, said the team was struggling with what the Yates report revealed, and was struggling to focus on Friday’s game.
“The players are not doing well,” said Sauerbrunn. “We feel terrified, sad, frustrated, exhausted and really angry.”
Andonovsky said he and his crew were respectful that each player was treating the report differently, and that everyone got the space to do so. He said that allocations have been made for players to skip meetings and training sessions until Friday’s match.
Paulson’s statement was his first public comment since the report was released. He said in the statement that two other senior Thorns executives whose personal and professional behavior has been criticized in the report, president of football Gavin Wilkinson and chief businessman Mike Golub, will also be stepping down while a separate investigation by NWSL is being conducted. and his players union.
But Paulson has not indicated that he intends to sell the team, and Sowerbrunn and Cook are with him other players He quickly pointed out that stopping away from a full exit would not be appropriate.
“I think a lot of trust was broken,” Sauerbrunn said. “Ultimately, if people continue to fail players, and don’t comply with anything that is being asked of them in these reports and implemented in these reports, they should go,” she added.