Thorns FC head coach Cindy Parlow Cone resigns

Cone helped direct Thorns FC to an 11-6-5 regular season record and the 2013 NWSL Championship

Cindy Parlow Cone, Thorns championship celebration

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC announced today that head coach Cindy Parlow Cone has resigned her position with the club. General manager Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.

"It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to resign my position as head coach of Portland Thorns FC,” Cone said. “Coaching the Thorns has been one of the highlights of my career. However, due to the scheduling conflicts created by the job, I realized that despite being a great move for my career, it was less than ideal for the health of my marriage - which is the most important thing in my life.

“I would like to thank Merritt Paulson, Gavin Wilkinson and the Thorns and Portland Timbers organization for allowing me this amazing opportunity and for showing the rest of the world what is possible in women's professional soccer. I would like to thank the players for playing with passion and giving everything they had to help bring a championship to Portland. Finally, thank you to the fans for your unwavering support. You truly are the best fans in the country. I will forever cherish the memories from this year.”

Cone, 35, a former standout with the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1996-2004, helped guide Thorns FC to a championship during the inaugural season of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in 2013. A two-time Olympic gold medalist and winner of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Cone was hired as the first head coach in Thorns FC history on Dec. 19, 2012.

“We sincerely appreciate everything that Cindy has accomplished as head coach of Portland Thorns FC,” Wilkinson said. “Helping deliver a championship to Portland was a major achievement, especially in her first year as a professional head coach. While we understand her decision to step down, we all thoroughly enjoyed having her as head coach and ambassador and we wish her the best.”

A finalist for the 2013 FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year, Cone helped direct Thorns FC to an 11-6-5 overall record during the 2013 regular season – which tied for the most points (38) in the league. Entering the playoffs as the No. 3 seed, Thorns FC overcame a two-goal deficit to earn a 3-2 win after extra time against FC Kansas City in the NWSL semifinals at Verizon Wireless Field in Overland Park, Kan. On the road for the second straight postseason game, Portland defeated the Western New York Flash 2-0 in the NWSL Championship on Aug. 31, at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.