Portland Thorns FC 2014 NWSL roster

Portland Thorns FC Coach Mark Parsons Voted NWSL Coach of the Year

Portland Thorns FC coach Mark Parsons was voted the National Women’s Soccer League Coach of the Year for the 2016 NWSL season, the league announced Monday.

Parsons, 30, led the Thorns 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 sixth in 2015 and missed out on the postseason for the first time in their 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.

His team joined the 2013 Western New York Flash and 2014 Seattle Reign FC as the only three teams to post a goals-against-average (GAA) of less than 1.00 for an entire season as the Thorns conceded just 19 goals in 20 games for a 0.95 GAA.

In addition to boasting the No. 1 defense in the league this year, the Thorns also had the No. 2 offense in the league – scoring 35 goals on the season, including an NWSL-high 21 in the second half of games. Among their 21 second-half goals, Parsons’ squad netted 12 tallies after the 75th minute.

Portland went 8-1-1 at Providence Park during the regular season as they earned the best home-record in the league this year. The Thorns outscored opponents 23-8 at home during 2016 while posting a league-best plus-15 goal difference in front of their own fans.

Parsons’ team had two separate four-game winning streaks this season – the longest win streaks in the league this season.

List of 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

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