Former Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates of King & Spalding LLP has been appointed by U.S. Soccer to lead an independent investigation into allegations of abusive behavior and sexual misconduct in women’s professional soccer, the federation announced Sunday night.

Yates, who served as acting AG for 10 days early in the Trump administration, is a former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Attorney General of the United States who has extensive experience conducting complex and highly sensitive investigations.

She spent nearly almost decades in public service at the Department of Justice under Republican and Democratic administrations. Currently, Yates specializes in internal and independent investigations for public and private organizations.

The National Women’s Soccer League has rocked and been under great scrutiny over the past several days in the wake of serious allegations that former North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley had used sexual coercion on at least three of his players, The Athletic reported. Riley was fired as coach.

“U.S. Soccer takes seriously its responsibility to vigorously investigate the abhorrent conduct reported, gain a full and frank understanding of the factors that allowed it to happen and take meaningful steps to prevent this from happening in the future,” the federation said in a statement.

Yates’ investigation will begin immediately. U.S. Soccer added that she will be given full autonomy, access and the necessary resources to follow the facts and evidence wherever they may lead.

U.S. Soccer said that it “remains committed to sharing the results of the investigation when it concludes.”

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at