PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC were named as a co-winner of the George Pasero Team of the Year, head coach Mark Parsons was honored as a co-winner of the Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was recognized as a co-winner of the Harry Glickman Female Professional Athlete of the Year as part of the Oregon Sports Awards, it was announced Wednesday evening at the organization’s 66th-annual awards ceremony held in Beaverton, Ore.
The Team of the Year award, named after longtime Oregon Journal and Oregonian sportswriter/editor George Pasero, was presented to Thorns FC in honor of winning the 2017 NWSL Championship. The Sportsperson of the Year, an award named after legendary Oregon State University coach and administrator Slats Gill, is given to an outstanding coach, administrator or organization from an Oregon-based team at any level of competition during the calendar year. The Professional Athlete of the Year, an award named after legendary Oregon sports promoter, executive and one of the founders of the Portland Trail Blazers, Harry Glickman, is given to an outstanding male and female professional athlete with an Oregon background or who played for an Oregon-based team during the calendar year.
Thorns FC made history with a 1-0 win over the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL Championship match on Oct. 14, 2017, claiming the team’s second NWSL Championship title in five seasons (2013, 2017). Portland finished the regular season with a record of 14-5-5, earning a NWSL playoff berth for the fourth time in five seasons, while also establishing single-season records for points (47), wins (14) and home wins (10). The club’s 10 home wins marked the first time in NWSL history a club has registered at least 10 wins in a season.
In his first two seasons (2016-17), Parsons helped Portland to an NWSL Championship (2017) and NWSL Shield (2016) as Thorns FC became the first NWSL team to win three trophies. He compiled of record of 26-8-10, including a dominant home mark of 18-2-2, as Portland became the first NWSL club to reach 50 wins on Aug. 26, 2017, with a 2-1 victory over Seattle Reign FC. In addition, on May 25, 2018, Parsons registered his 50th career NWSL win to become the third coach in league history to reach the milestone.
Franch was named 2017 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year and NWSL Best XI in her second season with Thorns FC. The Salina, Kan., native helped anchor the top defense in the NWSL, which posted a 0.83 goals-against average and seven home shutouts, equaling the best mark in league history in both goals-against average and home shutouts, while also setting an NWSL single-season record with 11 shutouts. Among goalkeepers, Franch led the league in save percentage (80.0) and fourth in saves (80).
Through a statewide voting panel consisting of TV, radio and print personalities and respected sports professionals, finalists for the Oregon Sports Awards were nominated and selected after multiple rounds or voting. Originally the Hayward Banquet of Champions, the Oregon Sports Awards began in 1948 to honor Oregon’s outstanding professional and amateur athletes, teams, coaches and administrators from many levels and a wide range of sports.