How Mark Parsons went from unknown to NWSL success, Netherlands job – Equalizer Soccer





Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer

The first time I met Mark Parsons was the night he coached his first National Women’s Soccer League match. It was just happenstance that I planned to be at the Maryland SoccerPlex on July 3, 2013, and that three days earlier the Washington Spirit had given Mike Jorden the heave-ho. Parsons was coaching the Spirit Reserves in the USL W-League, and he had previously coached Chelsea’s reserves, but beyond that no one really knew who he was. I even accidentally wrote his name as Mark Watson, who had been named interim coach of the San Jose Earthquakes a few weeks prior.

On that summer night in Boyds, Maryland, the Spirit snagged a 1-1 draw when Diana Matheson hit a daring, 87th-minute penalty right down the pipe as FC Kansas City keeper Nicole Barnhart dove out of the way. Pitchside after the match, Parsons spoke confidently and matter-of-factly after his NWSL coaching debut. He was wordy, but very much focused on the process, about that match being a beginning for the Washington Spirit.

The draw with FC Kansas City snapped a five-game losing streak, but unfortunately for Parsons and the Spirit, they lost the next seven after that. In later years, Parsons would lament all the work he was putting in — days and nights — through the summer of 2013, all without figuring out how to unlock a victory. When he finally got one, he wound up knocking on the door of the visiting locker room to apologize to Rory Dames. The 1-0 win officially eliminated the Chicago Red Stars from the playoffs but it also ended with the teams in a locker room sitting through a weather delay when the SoccerPlex’s curfew kicked in, ending the game after 80 minutes.

The Spirit beat the Seattle Reign three nights later and closed the season with a draw against Sky Blue to finish on a three-match unbeaten streak. Even that was only enough to finish 2-7-2 under Parsons, 3-14-5 overall. That was the last time Mark Parsons would be associated with a losing record over a full NWSL season. And it was the only time the NWSL playoffs would he conducted without him. He is a good bet to be in the playoffs again this year, but once the Thorns’ season ends, Parsons will leave Portland and the NWSL to coach the Netherlands women’s national team.

Continue reading…


The entire article is accessible only to members of The Equalizer Extra. Already a member? Awesome! Please sign in below. If not, you can sign up below.

Sign in to your account.

CLICK TO SIGN UP





Source link

Get in Touch

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Naomi Osaka Withdraws From Wimbledon 2021

Less than a month after withdrawing from the French Open for mental-health-related reasons, Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon....

A Look Back at Lu Harris-Champer’s Georgia Softball Coaching Career

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Athletics In this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez talks with former Georgia Bulldog great Kristyn Sandberg about Georgia’s...

Get in Touch

22,044FansLike
2,507FollowersFollow
17,800SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Posts

Naomi Osaka Withdraws From Wimbledon 2021

Less than a month after withdrawing from the French Open for mental-health-related reasons, Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon....

A Look Back at Lu Harris-Champer’s Georgia Softball Coaching Career

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Athletics In this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez talks with former Georgia Bulldog great Kristyn Sandberg about Georgia’s...

Josette Norris Olympic Track Trials

One year ago, Josette Norris’s goal for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials was just to make the final for the 5,000...

Manuel Sneaks into 100 Freestyle Semis, Lochte Bounces Back

We’re back with some overreactions to all of the action that took place during day 5 prelims at the 2021 US Olympic Trials,...