Mana Shim has been appointed chair of U.S. Soccer’s Participant Safety Taskforce, it was announced Monday.
The taskforce was created following the conclusion of former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates’s independent investigation into allegations of abusive behavior and sexual misconduct in women’s professional soccer.
In 2021, Shim alleged sexual miscount by former Portland Thorns head coach Paul Riley, which resulted in a major scandal in the National Women’s Soccer League in particular and U.S. soccer in general. She played with the Torhns from 2013-17 and with the Houston Dash from 2018-19 before retiring from professional soccer.
“I’ve accepted a job as vhair of the new Participant Safety Taskforce at U.S. Soccer because there’s still so much that needs to be done when it comes to changing the culture of soccer in this country,” she said in a statement. “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.
Shim added that Yates’s report made it clear to her that “for far too long, leaders across the soccer ecosystem – including at U.S. Soccer – have not taken responsibility for protecting players. But I believe in the capacity for change.”
She said that was committed to ensuring not only that the report’s recommendations were implemented, but that the taskforce and U.S. Soccer would “push beyond them.”
“We need to find the root causes of our sport’s systemic failures and take action at every level – from the youth game to the professional game,” Shim said.
Shim added that she was confident in U.S. Soccer president CEO JT Batson will support her work.
“We’ve already begun the process of identifying stakeholders from every level of soccer to be part of the taskforce,” she said. “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.”
In concluding her statement, Shim said that the taskforce will comprise soccer leaders at all levels across the country “to implement the Yates report’s recommendations and to ensure increased clarity on conduct-related policies and procedures.”
The taskforce, she said, will release additional information in the coming days about its mission, membership roster and timeline for progress.