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Washington Spirit name Mark Parsons head coach

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Nov 14, 2021; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Thorns head coach Mark Parsons watches his team from the sideline Chicago Red Stars during the first half of the NWSL semi final at Providence Park. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Spirit is bringing back Mark Parsons as head coach of the National Women’s Soccer League club.

He previously coached the Spirit from 2013-15.

“Mark is one of the best coaches in the sport and we are thrilled to have him guiding our team as we start a new chapter,” said Mark Krikorian, the team’s president of soccer operations, in a news release Monday. “After an extensive search process, we are confident that Mark’s experience and accomplishments are what we need as we continue to rebuild this club.”

Parsons is back in Washington after one season as head coach of the Dutch Women’s National Team in 2022, which followed six seasons as the head coach of the Portland Thorns FC (2016-21).

He led the Thorns to five straight playoff appearances, two NWSL championship matches and the league title in 2017. He was named NWSL coach of the year in 2016.

The Netherlands Football Association parted ways with Parsons in August after what it termed a “disappointing” Euro 2022 campaign.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to return to the Spirit as the Head Coach,” Parsons said. “We have a strong foundation of world-class players and we are going to build on that. I am committed to assembling the best possible team with Mark Krikorian to perform at the highest level day in and day out. We will create a Spirit standard of excellence, one that DC and our supporters can proudly invest in.”

The Spirit fired coach Kris Ward on Aug. 22 with a 1-6-9 record on the season. Albertin Montoya served as interim coach, and the Spirit finished 3-10-9.

–Field Level Media