Paul Riley to coach Thorns

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The Portland Thorns will be coached by Paul Riley.

The Portland Thorns on Tuesday named Paul Riley as its new head coach, less than a week after Cindy Parlow Cone stepped down from the post.

Riley, who is from Liverpool, England, previously coached the Philadelphia Independence of the former Women's Professional Soccer league.

"Paul is an accomplished coach and we have been very impressed with his knowledge of the Thorns FC organization, the NWSL and the women's game at the highest levels," Portland Timbers and Thorns FC general manager Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement Tuesday. "His experience in managing top-level players was of paramount importance. Paul shares our belief that the Thorns should be perennial championship contenders."

Parlow Cone, who led the Thorns to the inaugural National Women's Soccer League title earlier this year, reportedly stepped down to spend more time with her family. Her husband, John, worked with the MLS' Timbers.

"We had to make a decision about the type of lifestyle we want to have together," Cone told The Oregonian last week. "We decided we needed to find jobs where we could spend more time together." Parlow Cone, who played with the U.S. women's national team from 1995-2006, was a finalist for FIFA Women's Coach of the Year honors and led the Thorns to an 11-6-5 record.

Before joining the Independence and leading Philly to the WPS Championship match in each of the team's two campaigns, Riley led the Women's Premier Soccer League's Long Island Fury to a national titles in 2006 and 2009.

"It is a fantastic opportunity with a club renowned for its success both on and off the field," Riley said in a statement 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. Our goal is to bring another championship to Portland and further cement the Thorns in the mystique of this great soccer city."

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