Houston Dash fire goalie coach Matt Lampson for ‘crossing boundaries’ with player

Houston Dash goalie coach Matt Lampson was fired after an investigation revealed he “[crossed] professional boundaries” with a player on the team, an NWSL spokesperson confirmed.

The league spokesperson also told multiple outlets that Lampson, 34, is suspended from the NWSL for the duration of the 2024 season  “due to these violations and a lack of full cooperation.”

“The investigator determined that Lampson violated the NWSL Anti-Fraternization Policy and NWSL Coach Code of Conduct which require coaches to maintain strict adherence to professional boundaries but did not find a violation of the NWSL Anti-Harassment Policy which is focused on preventing abusive, discriminatory, or harassing behavior,” the league’s statement read.

Matt Lampson was let go from his job with the Houston Dash. Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Equalizer, the site that first broke the news of Lampson’s dismissal, published the NWSL’s guidelines about relationships between coaches and players, defining situations where there is a “power imbalance” as a violation.

“Power Imbalance: Where one person is in a ‘Position of Power’ such that, based on the totality of the circumstances, there is a Power Imbalance,” the league’s rules state.

“Whether someone occupies a “Position of Power” depends on several factors, including: the nature and extent of the supervisory authority over the person; the actual relationship between the parties; the parties’ respective roles; the nature and duration of the relationship; and the age of the people involved, both presently and at time of the relationship’s conception. Once a coach-player relationship is established, a Power Imbalance is presumed regardless of age.”

There are exceptions to the rule if the relationship pre-exists the coach-player dynamic.

Lampson was placed on administrative leave in January, pending the results of the investigation, and was fired on Monday, according to ESPN.

Matt Lampson was also is suspended from the NWSL for the duration of the 2024 season. Getty Images

Lampson previously was a goalie in MLS, with teams that include the Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire.

He had been with the Dash since the beginning of the 2022 season.

The Dash previously suspended former head coach and general manager James Clarkson after allegations of discrimination, harassment and abuse in 2022.

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