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Paul Riley named new Portland Thorns FC coach

Paul Riley is the new head coach of Portland Thorns FC.

Paul Riley is headed to Portland.

As reported last week, the Englishman is the new Portland Thorns FC coach after Cindy Parlow Cone unexpectedly stepped down Thursday after leading Portland to the inaugural NWSL Championship.

Riley coached the Philadelphia Independence of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) in 2010 and 2011, leading them to the final both seasons, where they lost to FC Gold Pride and the Western New York Flash, respectively. The Liverpool, England, native had a 21-14-7 record in Philly.

“It is a fantastic opportunity with a club renowned for its success both on and off the field,” Riley said in a statement. “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, 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.”

As I wrote Monday night, it’s a huge week for Portland, with Riley stepping in as coach, Nikki Marshall returning to the team and what looks to be the signing of Amber Brooks.

Thorns owner Merritt Paulson confirmed the news via Twitter on Tuesday:

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