First-year Portland Thorns head coach Mark Parsons
became the youngest head coach in NWSL history to be named Coach of the Year, winning the 2016 award ahead of Jim Gabarra
Spirit) and Paul Riley
(Western New York Flash). NWSL Coach of the Year: 2013:
Vlatko Andonovski, FC
Kansas City 2014:
Laura Harvey, Seattle 2015:
Laura Harvey, Seattle 2016:
Mark Parsons, Portland
Parsons, 30, guided Portland to the best
regular-season record and its first-ever NWSL Shield in his first season with the club. The Englishman joined the Thorns from the Washington Spirit, which he led to the NWSL playoffs in 2014 and 2015.
Like the Spirit, the Thorns fell in the semifinals, losing to the Flash, 4-3, in overtime on Sunday.
The Thorns led the NWSL with the fewest goals allowed (19) and a 0.95
goals-against average during the regular season.