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Thursday, September 21, 2023
Sept. 21, 2023

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Riley won’t return to coach Portland Thorns

By , Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter

Paul Riley will not return as coach of the Portland Thorns.
The club announced the decision on Wednesday. The Thorns had a record of 16 wins, 17 losses and 11 draws in two seasons under Riley. His contract expired at the end of the 2015 season.
Once considered a candidate to coach the U.S. women’s national team, Riley was billed as a significant hire when he replaced Cindy Parlow Cone. Cone resigned to spend more time with her family after she  led the Thorns to the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League championship in 2013.
Riley’s star-laden roster never jelled into one of the league’s top teams. The Thorns made the playoffs in 2014 as the No. 3 seed but lost in the semifinals. They missed the playoffs this season, when nine of their players missed significant time to play in the Women’s World Cup and injuries limited the availability of key players.
Thorns general manager Gavin Wilkinson said earlier this month that the club didn’t anticipate missing so many key players for so long and will likely take a different approach to building its roster going forward. With Riley gone, the Thorns roster could look significantly different in 2016.
“Thanks to everyone at the Thorns for the amazing opportunity and to the fans who truly make Portland Soccer City, USA,” Riley said in a statement released by the club.

Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter