Portland Thorns head coach Paul Riley is currently out of contract, Thorns general manager Gavin Wilkinson revealed during a conference call Tuesday afternoon.
Paul is currently out of contract at the end of this season, which is now, and I think the one thing that Paul has stated and I will state is it has to be right for both Paul and the organization. It's a decision that we're evaluating, to be honest. It's a situation where we had clear objectives over the last two seasons, but especially this season, that need to be met and also need to be met moving forward. The Thorns need to be recognized as a team that has a style and a system and this year did present many challenging aspects to that.
Wilkinson stated that meetings with Riley and players will take place in the near future, and a decision will be made in "three weeks to a month"
He was also quick to praise Riley.
We think nothing but the world of Paul: tremendous work ethic, tremendous knowledge of the game and the league in general, and it's some that we will continuing to be evaluating as a decision will likely be made in the near future.
In his two seasons as head coach, Riley has amassed a 16-17-11 record, finishing 3rd in 2014 and 6th in 2015, their lowest finish as a franchise.
Wilkinson also spoke on the criteria they will be using to evaluate personnel decisions, goals, and accountability to the fans.
I think with the Thorns it's very, very similar to how the club is run. The fans are our foundation and we respect their opinions and we value their opinions. I think in my situation there is accountability from all sides. I have to take accountability and Paul has to take accountability, assistant coaches, the players, we're all in this together. To pin everything on Paul, while some may believe that's fair, I disagree, and it's a collective effort with everybody involved and that would be going through every individual player and asking every player: did they perform to their capacity and did they perform as expected. Some of the variables that I've spoken about and some of the things that we've evaluated and Paul agrees. The realistic goal is that we have to be a perennial playoff team that challenges for the title and looks to host a playoff game and hopefully hosts a championship game.
This story is developing and we will bring updates as soon as they are available.