Merritt Paulson removed himself Tuesday as the chief operating officer of the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer and the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League.

It comes in the wake of an investigation that found abusive behavior, misconduct and administrative failure throughout the NWSL.

Last week, both teams dismissed general manager Gavin Wilkinson and president of business Mike Golub in response to the investigation. Paulson, the owner of both teams, previously stepped away from day-to-day operation of the Thorns.

Former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and the law firm of King & Spaulding released results of their investigation last week that detailed “systemic” abuse and misconduct in women’s soccer.

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Laia Codina and Esther González both scored for Spain in a 2-0 victory in Pamplona, Spain over the U.S. women’s national team, which lost a second straight game for the first time in more than five years.


Codina scored in the 39th minute. It was the first goal off a set piece that the United States had conceded since last summer’s Tokyo Olympics. Gonzalez added a goal in the 72nd.

The United States hadn’t lost two straight since the March 2017 SheBelieves Cup, when the team lost consecutive games to England and France.

LAWSUIT: A lawyer for Hope Solo filed a notice with a court indicating the former U.S. goalkeeper wants to object to the settlement of the equal pay lawsuit between her former teammates and the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Solo sued the USSF in August 2018 alleging violations of the federal Equal Pay Act and sex status discrimination.

While Solo’s case has not progressed to trial, players led by Alex Morgan filed suit against the USSF the following year under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Those players and the USSF reached a proposed $24 million settlement this spring, and U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles has scheduled a Dec. 5 hearing for final approval.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Paris Saint-Germain can still count on Kylian Mbappé despite rumors he wants to leave the club.


The World Cup winner scored his 31st Champions League goal for PSG to become the club’s record scorer in the competition as the French champions drew 1-1 with Benfica.

All eyes were on Mbappé at the Parc des Princes after reports claiming the star wanted a way out emerged earlier in the day. The France forward looked relaxed and smiling before kickoff as he waited with his teammates before walking out to the field.


NBA: The Charlotte Hornets breathed a sigh of relief after an MRI on All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball confirmed the initial diagnosis of a sprained left ankle and revealed no significant long-term injury.

The Hornets said Ball’s return to full basketball activities will be “determined by his response to rehab and treatment and further updates on his status will be provided as appropriate.”



NHL: Carl Hagelin is out indefinitely after undergoing hip surgery, leaving the Washington Capitals without three veteran forwards as the season begins.

The team said Hagelin had an arthroscopic procedure Monday that is intended to address his chronically injured left hip.

Hagelin, 34, has not played since taking an errant stick to his left eye in practice March 1. He took part in some informal summer workouts at the team’s practice facility but was not on the ice for the start of training camp.

• Mika Zibanejad scored twice, including a tiebreaking power-play goal in the third period, and the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 in the season opener in New York.

Barclay Goodrow also scored and reigning Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin stopped 26 shots to help the Rangers start the new season with a win against the Lightning team that eliminated them from Eastern Conference final in June.

Steven Stamkos had a power-play goal for the Lightning and Andrei Vasilevskiy had 36 saves.


Zibanejad, who scored a short-handed goal early in the second period, gave the Rangers the 2-1 lead at 5:11 of the third with a slap shot from the left circle off a pass from Artemi Panarin, who recorded his 250th point with the Rangers.

Goodrow made it 3-1 as he deflected Ryan Lindren’s long shot from the left point past Vasilevskiy with 9 minutes remaining.


NASCAR CUP SERIES: NASCAR hit Stewart-Haas Racing with an additional $200,000 in fines Tuesday after ruling Cole Custer and the No. 41 team manipulated the final lap of the playoff elimination race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

That brings SHR’s monetary fines to $300,000 over the last week; Kevin Harvick, one of the most outspoken drivers about safety concerns with NASCAR’s new Next Gen car, was penalized along with his crew chief when his Ford failed a post-Talladega inspection.

On Sunday, Custer appeared to deliberately hold up a line of traffic on Charlotte’s road course as teammate Chase Briscoe stormed past in a desperate effort to gain additional positions to avoid playoff elimination. Briscoe finished ninth, good enough to bump reigning NASCAR champion Kyle Larson from the playoffs as the field was trimmed from 12 drivers to eight.

Briscoe earned the eighth and final spot in the next round of the playoffs by two points over Larson.

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