Thorns FC name coaching staff for 2014 season

Experienced staff to assist head coach Paul Riley in first NWSL season

Nike Ball, USWNT vs. Canada

Photo Credit: 
(Portland Timbers)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC today announced the addition of four assistant coaches to head coach Paul Riley’s coaching staff for the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League season. Experienced coaches Michael Demakis, Skip Thorp and former Portland Timbers defender Scot Thompson have been named assistant coaches. Former Timbers goalkeeper Steve Reese will serve as the team’s goalkeeper coach.

“All four of these additions make our club stronger heading into the season,” said Thorns FC head coach Paul Riley. “Michael and Skip both bring experienced backgrounds and a strong knowledge of the systems and training regimen we will use in Portland. In Scot and Steve, we have added two coaches with solid roots in the Portland soccer community. Their experience as former professional players and coaching within the Timbers and Thorns FC youth systems will serve them well in their new roles.”

An experienced assistant coach at the collegiate and professional level, Demakis is a certified strength and conditioning coach, previously serving as an assistant coach on Riley’s staff with Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) club Philadelphia Independence for two seasons (2010, 2011). Demakis also served on the coaching staff with the New York Fury (WPSL Elite) and Long Island Fury (WPSL) for the last two years. The Baldwin, N.Y., native previously gained experience as strength and conditioning coach for the NFL’s New York Jets and the NHL’s New York Islanders and has been involved with Long Island-based Albertson Soccer Club as a coach and director of strength and conditioning for nearly 15 years. A former collegiate player at Springfield College in Massachusetts, Demakis began his coaching career as the strength and conditioning coach for Olympic sport teams, including men’s and women’s soccer, at Boston College from 1993-94 before joining the University of Kentucky as assistant women’s soccer coach from 1995-97.

 

Thorp, a native of Bear, Delaware, joins the Thorns FC coaching staff after serving as an assistant coach with the New York Fury in 2012 and Philadelphia Independence during the club’s time in WPS. A former professional goalkeeper for the Carolina Dynamo (USL D-3 Pro League) in 1999, Thorp spent nine years as an assistant coach for the women’s soccer team at Wake Forest University from 1999-2008. A past member of the coaching staff for the U.S. Under-18 Women's National Team and the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team, Thorp also served on the coaching staff for the Carolina Dynamo in 1999, the Delaware Wizards (USL D-3 Pro League) and the Delaware Genies (USL W-League) in 1998. Holding a USSF National “A” license, Thorp is also the current Technical Director of Coaching at Albertson Soccer Club.

 

A member of the Timbers second-division side from 2004-10, Thompson is a USSF National “A” licensed coach. He has served as the head coach of the varsity girls soccer team at Oregon Episcopal School since 2006, helping the team reach three straight Oregon Class 3A/2A/1A state finals, winning back-to-back championships in 2011 and 2012. The executive director of BSC Oregon youth soccer club, Thompson’s previous coaching experience includes work with the Eastside Timbers, Pateadores FC in California and the Pacific Coast Soccer Club. A fan favorite during his time on the field for the Timbers, the New York native is the team’s second-division career lead in both appearances (156) and minutes played (13,084) and has remained active with the club’s community outreach efforts since his retirement.

 

Reese was a member of the second-division Timbers from 2007-08 during his professional career, and has gained coaching experience at the collegiate level and with the Timbers Academy. A native Oregonian, Reese has served as a goalkeeper coach for the Timbers Academy U-16 and U-18 teams since 2012 and for the Timbers U-23s side since 2013. He served as goalkeeper coach at Concordia University from 2008-11 and has been involved at the youth level as a goalkeeper coach, assistant coach and head coach for Oregon’s Olympic Development Program over the past seven years, spending time on the boys and girls ODP Region IV coaching staff. Reese began his professional playing career in Romania with FCM Bacău before returning to the United States.