Mark Parsons, Thorns vs. FCKC, 7.9.16
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons named NWSL Coach of the Year

PORTLAND, Ore. Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons was named the National Women’s Soccer League Coach of the Year for the 2016 NWSL season, it was announced today.

Parsons, 30, is the youngest head coach in league history to be named Coach of the Year after guiding Portland to the best regular-season record (12-3-5, 41pts) and leading the club to its first-ever NWSL Shield in his first season with the club in 2016.

The Cranleigh, Surrey, native led the Thorns in setting a new club record for the most wins (12) and points (41) in a single campaign – as well as finishing the season with the best home record (8-1-1) and the best road winning percentage record (4-2-4, .600) in the league. Portland began the 2016 campaign on a 12-game unbeaten run, the longest unbeaten run in the NWSL this season and the second-longest run in league history behind the 16 straight games by Seattle Reign FC in 2014.

Parsons oversaw a defensive unit that led the league in the fewest goals allowed (19) and a 0.95 goals-against average during the regular season, as Thorns FC became the third team in league history to allow fewer than one goal per game. Offensively, Portland ranked second in the league in goals scored (35) and was tied for second in assists (23) with the Houston Dash.

The NWSL awards are voted on by club officials, players, media that cover the league on a consistent basis and fans.