Boyds, MD., (3/9/20) – The Washington Spirit today announced that forward Cheyna Matthews will be placed on Player Elected Leave. Matthews made the decision to step away from the team to spend more time with her son Josiah and husband Jordan.
Matthews will continue to be paid and supported by the Spirit organization through her entire leave, which is expected to continue until May.
Matthews said this on her decision to step away from the Spirit: “Two things can be true: You can absolutely love your job, and love your family. This is very very true in my case, which makes stepping away from my NWSL club for a while an extremely tough decision to make.”
“Ultimately, I am confident that this is what’s best for my family, club, and myself at this time. I’ve never been satisfied with anything less than 100% commitment in anything that I do and when that is possible for me again in the club environment, I will be back.”
“I want to thank the Washington Spirit organization, my amazing teammates, and upper management for understanding and generously supporting my decision. To the Spirit fans, I hope you know that you all are a huge motivating factor to get back out on the pitch! I will see you all soon!”
Spirit Head Coach Richie Burke said this on Matthews: “Cheyna has a very unique professional athlete family situation because she is both a mom and the wife of an NFL athlete. The 2019 season was challenging at times for Cheyna because Jordan moved multiple times during the NFL season.”
Burke continued: “While the NWSL did not have a specific policy regarding Cheyna’s family situation, we made the decision to provide the paid leave to Cheyna to enable her to take care of her family. We have also committed to enabling Cheyna to resume her playing career elsewhere if it is in the best interest of her family.”
Spirit Majority Owner Steve Baldwin had this to say: “One of the wonderful aspects of our league is that we have athletes that are mothers. Our club celebrates that and is committed to doing what is best for families like Cheyna’s.”
Baldwin continued: “Cheyna has a wonderful story and a terrific family. It has been a pleasure to get to know her and Jordan, their son JoJo, and their extended family the past year. One of the highlights from our 2019 season was when Cheyna scored two goals the day before her first Mother’s Day. We will continue to support Cheyna and her family during these next couple of months.”