PORTLAND, Ore. — Rich Gunney’s time as Portland Thorns FC assistant coach has come to an end.
As announced today, Gunney is leaving the team’s technical staff, on which he served as an assistant coach since 2017. Out of contract at the end of the last National Women’s Soccer League season, Gunney has been offered and accepted a position with San Diego Wave FC, who will begin NWSL play in the 2022 season.
“After five extremely rewarding seasons with the team, I feel now is the right time to embark on a new challenge,” Gunney said. “The Thorns and Portland have been home for me and my family for the last five years, and we depart with many fond memories and experiences. I am very grateful to so many people, from ownership, to front and back office, all the staff and of course the players.”
Gunney leaves Thorns FC with a list of achievements rivaled by few other NWSL assistants. During his five years in the Rose City, Gunney was a part of teams that won an NWSL Championship (2017), NWSL Shield (2021), NWSL Challenge Cup (2021), NWSL Community Shield (2020) and Women’s International Champions Cup (2021). Portland also reached two NWSL title games during this time on staff, compiling a regular-season record of 50-23-23 (W-L-D).
“Whilst it is hard to say farewell to this team and city, it is most certainly not goodbye,” said Gunney. “Just the right time for a new chapter which I’m excited to undertake, but I wish everyone associated with the Thorns and Timbers the very best of luck for what I’m sure will be an exciting future.”
Gunney was often highlighted for his contributions to the team’s set-piece execution and youth development but he also served as the team’s replacement for head coach Mark Parsons on two occasions. He leaves Thorns FC with a 2-0-0 record as the team’s head coach.