Portland Thorns

Portland Thorns HC Mark Parsons gives credit to rich soccer history in PDX

Portland Thorns

Mark Parsons, head coach of the Portland Thorns, sits down with host Justin Meyers on the latest Bridge Podcast to dive into the return of the NWSL, soccer in Portland, and his love of coaching.

One of the biggest topics of conversation in this week’s podcast was Portland’s soccer fan base and how special it is, both now and in the past.

Coach Parsons explains how no other city in the USA has the rich soccer history that Portland does.

The Soccer history here is almost unheard of in this country. On the women’s side -- the University of Portland... And then the Portland Thorns coming into town and this community… When the Thorns came it was like -- I’ve been waiting for you guys all my life.

Portland Thorns Head Coach Mark Parsons

Listen to the full podcast here:

This week’s podcast topics include:

[1:20] Reaction to finding out about the continuation of the NWSL season

[3:00] What it is like coaching not knowing what you are preparing for

[6:15] Parsons on prioritizing players and the growth of players

[9:00] Impact of Zoom in the quality of conversations the team can have

[10:45] Parsons on his decision to move to the NWSL

[13:20] Biggest culture shock for Parsons when he came to America

[16:00] Portland fan base and soccer history in Portland

[20:00] Playing in front of no fans, and losing a home field advantage

Coach Parsons also shares a story about an experience with a University of Portland fan while he was coaching at Washington. He lets us in on the back-and-forth they had mid-game.

Plus, Parsons talks about the Portland community wanting women’s sports to succeed and how Portland comes out for all the teams with their arms wide open, wanting their teams to succeed.


"In 2020, it’s crazy, we’re still struggling with supporting -- whether it’s female athletes or it’s African Americans across the country or other races, we’ve got a lot of ground to make up across the whole globe," Parsons said. "That’s what I love about Portland -- they absolutely want to see people succeed."

Listen to the entire Bridge Podcast with Portland Thorns HC Mark Parsons right here.