According to a report from the Equalizer, former Washington Spirit coach Mark Parsons is set to sign with the Portland Thorns as the side's new head coach. Parsons was already being linked to the Thorns job as he stepped down from his position with the Spirit this morning.
The Thorns, who cut ties with head coach Paul Riley one week ago, have been expected to bring in a high profile signing to compliment their status as one of the most widely recognized teams in women's soccer and Parsons, who has brought Washington to the playoffs in each of the last two years, fits the bill.
The signing, while not yet official, should herald a busy summer for the Thorns, so expect it to come sooner rather than later as the Thorns look to assemble a team that will compete for a trophy in 2016 after this year's disappointing season.
Before spending two and a half years at Washington's helm, Parsons coached the Chelsea Ladies Reserve and the D.C. United Women's U-20's, and was an assistant coach with the Spirit before taking over for Mike Jordan midway through the NWSL's inaugural season.
In the Spirit's two playoff bound seasons with Parsons in charge, Washington posted records of 10-5-9 in 2014 and 8-6-6 in 2015. Both years saw the Spirit post good goalscoring numbers, but struggled to keep opposing teams off the board, leading to goal differentials of -7 in 2014 and +3 in 2015. In those same years the Thorns posted goal differentials of +4 and -2, and the Seattle Reign -- regular season champions in both seasons -- posted goal differentials of +30 and +20.