[NWSL] Portland Thorns FC, the Portland Timbers' entrant in the National Women's Soccer League, showed it means business in the new women's pro league by hiring Cindy Parlow Coneaway from the University of North Carolina to become its head coach. Parlow Cone, who played on the 1999 Women's World Cup championship team and 1996 and 2004 Olympic gold-medal teams, played a key role this fall working as an assistant coach for the Tar Heels, who won their 21st NCAA title in 31 years.
Parlow Cone ranks among the U.S. women's national team's leaders with 75 goals (sixth all-time) and 158 appearances (15th).
Following her playing career, Parlow Cone, 34, has served as an assistant coach at Carolina for the past six seasons.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Parlow Cone also spent the last six years as the director of coaching for senior girls programs (U-15 to U-18) at Triangle United Soccer Association in Chapel Hill, N.C., and has been a member of the U.S. U-14 and U-15 Girls National Team coaching staffs since 2010.
"It is very exciting to be part of a new women's league and to be a part of launching a new professional team in Portland," Parlow Cone said in a statement. "I've seen first-hand the great enthusiasm Portland has for soccer; it's a soccer-smart fan base that generates an incredible atmosphere. I am very much looking forward to the first season of Thorns FC."