Portland Thorns FC named Paul Riley head coach, the club announced Tuesday.
Riley coached the Philadelphia Independence in the WPS from 2010 and 2011 for a 21-14-7 record. He led the club to two consecutive finals appearances and was named Coach of the Year in 2011.
“It is a fantastic opportunity with a club renowned for its success both on and off the field,” Riley said Tuesday. “It’s a great challenge and I look forward to integrating a style of play that fans in Portland will embrace. Portland is a special place for soccer and I share their passion, a love and appetite for a creative, attacking style of play.”
“We have a fabulous core group of players and I’m excited to work with such a hungry, motivated and talented group. Our goal is to bring another championship to Portland and further cement the Thorns in the mystique of this great soccer city.”
The Liverpool, Eng. native previously coached the New York Fury in 2013.
The announcement came after Cindy Parlow Cone stepped down last Thursday due to personal reasons. She led the Thorns to the inaugural NWSL title in August and was nominated by FIFA for Coach of the Year.
“I would like to thank Merritt Paulson, Gavin Wilkinson and the Thorns and Portland Timbers organization for allowing me this amazing opportunity and for showing the rest of the world what is possible in women’s professional soccer,” said Cone in a statement on Dec. 5. “I would like to thank the players for playing with passion and giving everything they had to help bring a championship to Portland. Finally, thank you to the fans for your unwavering support. You truly are the best fans in the country. I will forever cherish the memories from this year.”