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Mark Parsons out as Spirit head coach after one season

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Parsons’ return as head coach of the Washington Spirit lasted only one season. The team announced on Tuesday that Parsons would not be retained for the 2024 season.

Parsons, who first coached the Spirit on an interim basis in 2013 and continued through the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League season, returned to the club at the end of 2022. The Spirit finished the season 7-6-9 (W-L-D) and failed to make the six-team playoffs in the 12-team league.

“We are grateful for Mark’s contributions in the 2023 season,” said Spirit president of soccer operations Mark Krikorian in a statement. “He helped lay a strong foundation and set us on a path to excellence. We wish him all the best in the future.”

Parsons previously coached the Netherlands women’s national team but departed after a disappointing European Championship title defense in 2022 that saw the Dutch exit in the quarterfinals.

Parsons came to prominence in the NWSL as coach of the Portland Thorns from 2016 through 2021. With the Thorns, Parsons won two NWSL Shields and one NWSL Championship.

Washington becomes the fifth NWSL team currently looking for a head coach. The Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, Kansas City Current, and Angel City FC all have interim coaches. Angel City is the only team among the group to have qualified for the postseason.

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