PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC announced today that the club has signed head coach Mark Parsons to a long-term contract extension. Additionally, the club announced that goalkeeper coach Nadine Angerer also has signed a contract extension and will serve as the club’s director of goalkeeping. In their first season coaching Thorns FC in 2016, Parsons and Angerer helped guide the team to its first NWSL Shield after finishing the season with the best regular-season record (12-3-5, 41pts) and setting a new club record for the most wins and points in a single season.
“We are delighted to announce that Mark Parsons and Nadine Angerer have signed new contracts, and we all look forward to continuing to build on the initial success the club achieved in their first season on staff,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for Thorns FC. “Mark is among the best coaches in the NWSL, and he and his staff did an incredible job in guiding the club to its first NWSL Shield in 2016. Nadine is one of the all-time greats to play the position, and her experience and guidance will continue to be invaluable to the coaching staff and our players.”
Parsons, 30, joined Portland this past offseason after spending the previous three seasons with the Washington Spirit and led Thorns FC to a 12-game unbeaten run to start the season – the second-longest streak in NWSL history. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Cranleigh, Surrey, native was named the National Women’s Soccer League Coach of the Year for the 2016 season, becoming the youngest head coach in league history to win the award.
“I am very thankful for the commitment Merritt Paulson and Gavin have shown in me, and I’m excited to be a part of this special organization long term,” said Parsons. “It has been a pleasure working with our passionate staff and committed players, and together, with the best fans in the world, we can continue to build on a record-setting 2016 season.”
Thorns FC finished the regular season with the best road record (8-1-1) and the best road winning percentage (4-2-4, .600) in the league. Additionally, Portland finished the season as the No. 2-ranked offense in the league (35 goals) and was the only team to have five players with at least five goals scored – forward Nadia Nadim (9), forward Christine Sinclair (6), midfielder Allie Long (6), midfielder Lindsey Horan (5) and midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir (5).
In Angerer’s capacity as the club’s goalkeeper coach in 2016, Thorns FC ranked first in the league in fewest goals allowed (19) and a 0.95 goals-against average, becoming just the third team in league history to allow fewer than one goal per game. Additionally, the seven shutouts posted this season tied a team record that was set in 2013.
Prior to joining the Thorns’ coaching staff last season, Angerer, 37, played two professional seasons with Thorns FC, appearing in 28 matches (all starts) during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The 2013 FIFA World Player of the Year, Angerer finished her international career with 146 caps for the German National Team and won two FIFA World Cups (2003, 2007).