Portland Thorns head coach Wilkinson agrees to request to resign

Portland Thorns head coach Wilkinson agrees to request to resign

Portland Thorns head coach Rhian Wilkinson has agreed to a request from the club's players to resign.

The appeal came despite Wilkinson being cleared of any wrongdoing by the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), after she admitted a friendship she formed with a player "turned into more complex emotions".

Wilkinson had reported herself to the club's human resources and the matter was investigated by the league and the players association (NWSPA), and she was exonerated.

But she says the "narrative regarding my actions has taken on a life of its own" and she has agreed to step down, despite having led the team to a third NWSL championship.

She said: "During my time as the Thorns coach, a player and I formed a friendship that turned into more complex emotions. In mid-October, the player shared her feelings to me, and I reciprocated. While this was a human moment, it went no further than this expression of feelings for one another.