Thorns get their man

[NWSL] NWSL champion Portland Thorns FC named two-time WPS Coach of the Year Paul Riley as the club’s head coach for the 2014 season. The Liverpudlian has been a longtime fixture on the Long Island soccer scene and had turned the Philadelphia Independence into one of the best clubs in WPS, making him a hot commodity as the NWSL moved into its second season.

Riley replaces Cindy Parlow Cone, who had resigned for personal reasons. He compiled a 21-14-7 regular-season record in two seasons at the helm in Philadelphia, including a mark of 11-4-3 during the 2011 season. Following WPS's demise, he coached the New York Fury in the WPSL Elite and Long Island Fury in the WPSL.

“Paul is an accomplished coach and we have been very impressed with his knowledge of the Thorns FC organization, the NWSL and the women’s game at the highest levels” said Gavin Wilkinson, Portland Timbers and Thorns FC general manager in a statement. “His experience in managing top-level players was of paramount importance. Paul shares our belief that the Thorns should be perennial championship contenders. We, the staff and players, are delighted to welcome Paul to the organization.”

Riley starred at Adelphi and later played in the ASL and USL. He later coached LIU Post men’s soccer and has served as a youth coach and director of coaching for Long Island-based Albertson Soccer Club since 1994, helping build one of the most well-known youth development clubs in the Northeast

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