The organization said it had no additional comment.
The league did not disclose any details, but a person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the breaches included at least one player violating isolation requirements.
Another person familiar with the situation, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Spirit was prepared to proceed with 15 players — all cleared by the medical staff — when NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird decided to declare the forfeit.
The decision came one week after the Spirit’s match in Portland was postponed because four Spirit players tested positive for the coronavirus. No makeup date has been announced, and the league has not said whether a forfeiture was under consideration.
According to the NWSL’s medical protocols, a major infraction involves a breach that “directly risks the health or safety of personnel by increasing the risk of covid-19 exposure.”
The guidelines do not mention forfeits but say “the league will manage discipline for minor infractions and major infractions on a case-by-case basis and its decision will be final.”
Several Spirit players are unvaccinated, multiple people familiar with the team said. The NWSL said this past week that nearly 90 percent of players and almost all staff members are vaccinated. Vaccinated players are tested weekly, and unvaccinated players are tested twice per week.
The Spirit (6-6-5) has not played since Aug. 29, and, because of an upcoming international window, it is not scheduled to play again until Sept. 26 against Kansas City at Segra Field in Leesburg. With the forfeit victory, OL Reign, which is based in Tacoma, Wash., and features former Spirit star Rose Lavelle, improved to 10-7-2.
The forfeit is the latest blow to a Spirit organization beset with problems. The club is in the midst of a power struggle between co-owners Y. Michele Kang and Steve Baldwin. Last month, Richie Burke stepped down as coach, citing medical reasons. He was reassigned to the front office, then suspended amid a league investigation into allegations by former players that Burke had verbally and emotionally abused them.
Olsen, a former D.C. United player and coach, was named Spirit president Sept. 2.
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