By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Merritt Paulson has removed himself as chief operating officer of the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer and the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League. Paulson’s move comes in the wake of an investigation that found abusive behavior, misconduct and administrative failure throughout the NWSL. The club dismissed a pair of executives last week in response to the investigation. Paulson previously stepped away from day-to-day operation of the Thorns.