Mark Parsons is Named NWSL Coach of the Year
Mark Parsons of Portland Thorns FC has received NWSL Coach of the Year honors after leading his side to first place finish in the regular season during his first year with the club. The Thorns returned to the NWSL Playoffs, along with recording the second-longest unbeaten streak in league history.
NWSL Soccer News: Portland Thorns FC coach Mark Parsons was voted the National Women’s Soccer League Coach of the Year for the 2016 season after leading his side to their first NWSL Shield with a 12-3-5 record and 41 points in his first season with the club.
The Cranleigh, England native helped Portland return to the NWSL Playoffs after the Thorns finished in sixth place during the 2015 campaign and missed out on the postseason for the first time in franchise history.
Parsons joined Portland during the offseason after spending three seasons with the Washington Spirit and guided the Thorns to a 12-game unbeaten run to start the season – the second-longest streak in NWSL history.
The Thorns join the 2013 Western New York Flash and 2014 Seattle Reign FC as the only teams to post a goals-against-average (GAA) of less than 1.00 for an entire season after conceding just 19 goals in 20 games for a 0.95 GAA.
In addition to holding the No. 1 defense in the league this season, the Thorns also had the No. 2 offense in the league – scoring 35 goals on the season, including an NWSL-high 21 tallies in the second half of matches. Among their 21 second-half goals, Parsons’ squad recorded 12 tallies after the 75th minute of play.
Portland went 8-1-1 at Providence Park during the regular season as they earned the best home-record in the NWSL this campaign. The Thorns outscored opponents 23-8 at home this year, while posting a league-best plus-15 goal difference in Portland.
The Thorns recorded two separate four-game winning streaks this season – the longest win streaks in the league this season.
List of past NWSL Coach of the Year winners:
|2013||Vlatko Andonovski||FC Kansas City|
|2014||Laura Harvey||Seattle Reign FC|
|2015||Laura Harvey||Seattle Reign FC|
|2016||Mark Parsons||Portland Thorns FC|
Photo Credit: National Women’s Soccer League