Portland Thorns Head Coach Mark Parsons to leave at end of season

Photo by Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire

What does this mean for the Thorns

Portland Thorns coach Mark Parsons has announced that he will be leaving his role as the Portland Thorns coach at the end of the season and will be joining the Netherlands Women’s Soccer team as Head Coach. He’ll be replacing Sarina Wiegman who will be taking over the England Women’s National Team per the Associated Press.

Parsons contract will go until the 2023 qualification campaign for the World Cup. Parsons who has been a coaching the Portland Thorns since 2016 led them to NWSL shield that year and then a year later led them to the league title. This year the Thorns have won the NWSL Challenge Cup Per Associated Press.

Reason behind decision

Parsons explained at the press conference how the process went about.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t, it didn’t go to plan and we had to. We had to react rather than be able to do the process that we’d like to because there was a couple of reports last week and having a conversation with the team as a whole with merit with Gavin clarifying everything that was happening,” Parsons said. “Sharing with the team that there was an intention of this going through, from me and then also collaboration with from Gavin the club and the KBB, but you know what we thought would be a month or two and I was going to speed up to the next week or two because of the reports.”

How will the club move forward

While it’ll be tough for Thorns fans to lose such a great coach, Parsons stated that family was the main reason behind the decision.

“To be honest and Mark and I have a very open and direct relationship where we have brutal conversations about football and about the direction of the club and sharing a lot of ideas. I think this was more marketing to me and saying Gavin should the opportunity arise within the next six months where I can go back to Europe and get closer to my family”.

President and General Manager Gavin Wilkinson was asked on when the job search would being for their next head coach. Thorns want to have a couple of managers that could be on the shortlist before making a final decision.

“It’s a fluid situation, I think right now the focus is week to week, day to day with Mark, there will be a transition and that transition will happen after market has left the club. The interview process and the recruitment process and going through that will start within the next couple of weeks where we will start to get together a shortlist if the ideal candidates for this club, and there’ll be many stakeholders that are involved in making the decision,” said Wilkinson. “Mark is also somebody that we have an incredible relationship with, and will lean on him in some small way, as well as the players and the staff that we have. So the process will start in the coming weeks, I would say by October November we will have our final candidates, probably a very short list of three to four.”

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