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Cindy Parlow Cone steps down as Thorns coach

Cindy Parlow Cone will no longer be Portland Thorns FC coach due to personal reasons, according to a report. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

Cindy Parlow Cone will no longer be Portland Thorns FC coach due to personal reasons, according to a report. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

Cindy Parlow Cone will no longer coach Portland Thorns FC due to personal reasons, as first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl.

Cone confirmed the news via Twitter and The Equalizer has also independently confirmed that an announcement on a new coach is expected Monday. Expect that announcement to be Paul Riley as the new coach. Wahl listed Riley as the top candidate, and it’s clear from my sources that Riley will be the new coach.

Riley was previously a finalist for the U.S. coaching job last year that was given to Tom Sermanni, and he was in the running for the currently open English job.

Portland struggled through stretches of the regular season in 2013 but ultimately won on the road twice in the playoffs – winning in the overtime of the semifinal at FC Kansas City and in Rochester, N.Y., to beat the Western New York Flash in the final – to claim the NWSL Championship in the league’s inaugural season.

Cone’s husband, Dr. John Cone, was the director of sports science for the Portland Timbers, the Thorns’ brother club, but the Oregonian reports that John has also left the club.

“We had to make a decision about the type of lifestyle we want to have together,” Cone told the Oregonian Thursday. “We decided we needed to find jobs where we could spend more time together.”

Cone took to Twitter to thank the Thorns organization, stating it was the best move for her family:

Thorns and Timbers owner Merritt Paulson thanked Cone for her time in Portland:

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