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Mark Parsons Named NWSL Coach of the Year

Parsons led the Thorns to their first NWSL Shield.

Despite their Semifinal loss, Parsons and the Thorns had much to celebrate in 2016.
Despite their Semifinal loss, Parsons and the Thorns had much to celebrate in 2016.
Jan Landis/The Asian Reporter

Portland Thorns head coach Mark Parsons has been named the NWSL Coach of the Year, the Thorns and NWSL announced Monday.

The third coach in team history, Parsons, 30, led the Thorns to their best record in 4 NWSL seasons, setting records in wins (12), fewest losses (3), and points (41), and their first NWSL Shield in his first season with the Thorns.

The Thorns began the season with the second-longest unbeaten run in league history, as the Thorns took points in their first 12 matches of the season.  The Thorns finished with the best home record in at 2016 at 8-1-1 and the highest road winning percentage at .600 (4-2-4).

Parsons oversaw a quick turnaround for a Thorns side that missed the playoffs in 2015, helping bring in stars Amandine Henry, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg, Nadia Nadim, and acquiring Emily Sonnett with the top overall draft pick.

1The Thorns finished with the top defensive unit in the league, allowing only 19 goals on the season, while seeing his team score 35 goals, the second highest total in the league, behind Top 10 goal scoring performances by Nadia Nadim (9) and Allie Long (6), while Tobin Heath recorded a league-record 10 assists, as the Thorns finished second in the league with 23 assists.

The NWSL Awards are voted on by team personnel, players, media, and fans.

Portland Thorns Press Release


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.

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