NWSL fines Angel City FC over details of Christen Press announcement

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The NWSL fined Angel City FC for announcing the signing of USWNT star Christen Press before a contract was completed last week, the league announced Thursday.

The league said the expansion club announced the signing "prior to the full execution of the player's agreement," which violates Section 17.2.1 of the rulebook. The NWSL also said ACFC "ignored a league directive regarding the announcement." 

ACFC announced they had signed Press on Aug. 23, making her the club's first rostered player and bringing the two-time World Cup champion back to Los Angeles. The club acquired the rights in a trade with Racing Louisville FC and she could reportedly make $550,000 on the two-year contract that has an option for a third year. 

The league confirmed on social and its website the trade and signing, which was long speculated but still massive for the league. 

The fine is being viewed by fans as another petty one particularly in the wake of reports of coaching scandals in Louisville and Washington. 

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Christen Press
Christen Press is the first rostered player for Angel City FC and the club is paying for the too-eager announcement. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

NWSL faces coaching scandals 

The announcement of a fine might not have made as many waves if the NWSL wasn't experiencing a myriad of coaching scandals it has stayed rather mum about. 

The Washington Spirit announced last month that head coach Richie Burke was resigning due to "health reasons." Almost immediately it was reported he had verbally abused players and used racist language, leading the team to announce he had been suspended. 

The Spirit said they are investigating. The Washington Post, who first reported the abuse, recently detailed the longstanding concerns those within the organization have had regarding Burke dating back to his hiring. Team co-owner Y. Michele Kang is currently fighting for control of the team after the allegations, per the report. 

Racing Louisville FC, an expansion club in its first season, announced Tuesday night it had fired head coach Christy Holly "for cause." No party has elaborated on the termination yet. 

In July, Gotham FC fired general manager Alyse LaHue following an NWSL investigation into a complaint of violating a league policy. It was reportedly regarding the anti-harassment policy.

In all, at least eight of the 12 coaches for the 2022 season will be in the first full season in charge of their new team, per Jeff Kassouf of Equalizer Soccer. There are two full months of the current regular season remaining. The 2022 season begins around April with the Challenge Cup. 

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