PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Former Portland Thorns player Mana Shim announced Monday she started a new job at U.S. Soccer as the organization’s chair of its new Participant Safety Taskforce.
The taskforce is made up of players across all levels of soccer, but U.S. Soccer has yet to release full details about the taskforce’s mission. The organization said the taskforce will coordinate efforts to implement the recommendations made in the report from the Sally Yates investigation.
Former acting U.S. Attorney General Yates and the law firm King & Spaulding investigated and confirmed reports of emotional abuse and sexual conduct within the National Women’s Soccer League.
The report, released Monday, Oct. 3, claims the Portland Thorns tried to cover up the abuse.
Mana Shim, who played for the Thorns from 2013 to 2017, was one of the first to come forward publicly in 2021 with allegations of harassment and sexual coercion against former Thorns coach Paul Riley.
Shim will be in charge of leading the Participant Safety Taskforce to help ensure increased clarity on conduct-related policies and procedures.
She said she accepted the position because there’s still so much work that needs to be done to change the culture of soccer in the U.S.
“I love this sport, and I believe we have an opportunity in this moment to protect players and set a new standard for all sports. We don’t have any time to waste,” she wrote in a statement.
She said that Yates’ report made it clear that for too long, soccer leaders, including those from U.S. Soccer, have not taken responsibility for protecting players. As the leader of the taskforce, Shim said she’s committed to implementing Yates’ recommendations and finding the root causes of the sport’s systemic failures.
She plans to take action at every level, from youth sports to the professional game.
“I’m deeply appreciative of the cooperation and willingness to do the hard work that we’ve already seen from leaders across soccer – including at the NWSL and NWSLPA. I’m honored to play a leadership role as we move forward,” she said.
On Tuesday, in a letter to Rep. Deborah Ross, D-N.C., U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone wrote that she believes that establishing the taskforce, along with other actions U.S. Soccer has already taken, will help rebuild a culture in which everyone in the sport feels safe, welcomed and supported.