Portland Thorns Academy


For immediate release: May 12, 2020
Collin Romer (503) 553-5433, cromer@timbers.com

Katie Simons (503) 553-5539,
Kevin Acevedo (503) 553-5512,
Mauricio Villarreal (503) 553-5529, mvillarreal@timbers.com

Club's Academy teams will begin play in 2020-21 season

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Thorns FC today announced that the Thorns Academy will begin play in the Elite Clubs National League Girls (ECNL Girls), the top youth league for young women in America, starting with the 2020-21 season.

"We are committed to the Thorns Academy and believe entering into this partnership with the ECNL will be key in its growth and success," said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for Thorns FC. "The ECNL is a proven national competition platform that will give our players the best opportunity to reach their full potential as we strive to develop players for youth national teams, top college programs and the first team."

Established in 2014, the Thorns Academy serves as the youth development platform for two-time NWSL champion Thorns FC. Beginning in 2016, the Thorns Academy was one of the 25 founding members of the U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy, and began play in four age groups (U14, U15, U17 and U19), adding a fifth team at the U16 level in 2019. By joining the ECNL, the Thorns Academy will add a sixth age group at the U13 level for the first time.

Under the direction of Academy Director, Laura Schott, the staff consists of six highly experienced and successful "A" licensed coaches that have all played and coached at the collegiate level that strongly believe in the Thorns development philosophy. Several current and former Academy players have been called in by U.S. Youth Regional and National Teams, including Olivia Moultrie, Shaela Bradley, Hailey Coll and Paige Lacey. Moultrie, 14, appeared with the Thorns U-19 team this past Academy season and was the youngest player to participate in training camp with the U.S. U-17 Women's National Team in January, while she has also trained with the Thorns FC first team. Players in the Thorns Academy have the opportunity to attend Thorns FC home matches, earn practice opportunities, observe training sessions and train at Providence Park.

The Thorns Academy gives elite youth players a professional structure to work within daily and provides the best environment to develop top female players, together with showcase opportunities and competition.
The Academy provides a further step in the elite girls developmental pyramid, from RTC, ODP, Academy, college and the first team. Additionally, there are currently eight Thorns Alliance Clubs across the region, while the Portland Timbers and Thorns FC also oversee the Olympic Development Program (ODP) on behalf of the Oregon Youth Soccer Association, along with eight regional training centers across Oregon and Southwest Washington.

The ECNL Girls is a national brand that includes eight conferences that span across the United States, including the Northwest Conference, which the Thorns Academy will play in with teams from Washington, California, Idaho, Utah and Colorado. The Thorns Academy will compete in regular-season conference games, cross-conference events and ECNL national events while trying to qualify for the ECNL playoffs.

About Elite Clubs National League Girls
The Elite Clubs National League Girls (ECNL Girls) was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of female youth soccer players in the United States through: (i) improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league; (ii) improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and (iii) improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs. The ECNL Girls is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and is sponsored by Nike Soccer.

-- visit www.thornsfc.com --

COVID-19 Family Support

We know that some of you have family owned businesses that are being impacted by the COVID-19 shutdowns. Below are our Thorns Family Businesses and what they are doing at this time. We encourage you to support these businesses if you have need of these services:

Kelly McCollum


(215) 380-6767


We've seen a big demand for hands-on science experiments from parents who are now homeschooling their children since schools have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, we're sending out free science experiments weekly to our email list. These experiments can also be accessed on our website blog. We're also donating 10% of profits from all website sales to the Oregon Food Bank to support their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020-2021 Coaching Staff Portland Thorns Academy FC

The Portland Thorns Academy is excited to share the upcoming staff
assignments for the 2020/2021 Season.

2020/2021 Season - Head Coaching Staff

  • Paul Karver U19 (2003/2002) Head Coach
  • Paul Karver U17 (2004) Head Coach
  • Chris Thurley U16 (2005) Head Coach
  • Tracy Nelson U15 (2006) Head Coach
  • Erin Grand U14 (2007) Head Coach
  • Tracy Nelson U13 (2008) Head Coach

Laura Schott will continue as the Academy Director.

Cony Konstin will continue as the Academy Technical Director.

We are excited to add Paul Karver to the 20/21 staff. He most recently was the Head Coach
at Humboldt State University.

See the Coaching Staff page for his bio as well as the entire coaching staff.

Assistant Coaches are being finalized and will be announced soon.

Remember to register for tryouts CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Portland Thorns Academy 2020/2021 Season

The Portland Thorns Academy is excited to announce the 2020/2021 Season!

Women's soccer is an integral part of our community, being the home of the Portland Thorns FC, who rank 10th in overall attendance for both mens and womens U.S. Professional soccer and almost double the attendance of any club in the NWSL nationwide. We are a community that supports our home teams.

The Portland Thorns Academy was established in 2017 as an elite training program for girls and young women. Since our inception, we have continued to grow and strengthen our program to provide the best possible development.

Portland Thorns Academy - U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, U19
2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003/2002

The difference between the Portland Thorns Academy and other programs is our holistic approach to player development and integration of attributes of the Portland Thorns FC to the training of these young athletes. The Portland Thorns Academy will have direct interaction with the Portland Thorns FC, which includes opportunities to observe their trainings, interaction with players, observation by First Team coaching staff, and tickets to Portland Thorns FC home games.

The Head Coaching Staff for the Portland Thorns Academy are all A or B licensed coaches.

The program is designed to provide elite player development for girls in the Pacific Northwest, with an emphasis on the state of Oregon. The Academy Program focuses on positively impacting players to assist in maximizing individual player development. MORE INFORMATION

Integrated into player development will be nutrition, sports psychology, strength conditioning, speed and agility, overall fitness, and increased training.

Portland Thorns Pre-Academy - U11 & U12
2010 & 2009

In the 2020/2021 season we will be launching the Portland Thorns Pre-Academy as part of our overall program. The Training Program is for Identified U11 and U12 players, to begin training in preparation of joining the Portland Thorns Academy. This will be a comprehensive year-round program designed to develop and challenge these players.

Portland Thorns Academy Mission

The goal for all Portland Thorns Academy and Pre-Academy youth players is to reach their peak performance as an elite, well rounded athlete. The focus will be on giving players the opportunity to earn collegiate scholarship offers, national team invites, and the chance to be drafted into the NWSL. In the 2019/2020 season alone, three Portland Thorns Academy FC players received invitations to National Camps.

US National U18 Team Camp


For the latest updates and resources on COVID-19 Return to Play transitions visit our



Donations to the Portland Thorns Academy are welcome and Tax Deductible.
All Donations will be applied to the Financial Assistance Program.


College Commitments

Since the inception of the Portland Thorns Academy
24 Thorns Academy Players have made College Commitments . . .

See our College Commitment Page

U17 National Team


Olivia Moultrie
named to U17 National Team

Click Here for Story


Portland Thorns Academy
would like to THANK the following Clubs for providing players for the

2019/2020 Thorns Academy

Academy of Soccer Excellence (ASE)

Bend FC Timbers


Capital FC Timbers

Corvallis Sports Club


Eastside Timbers


Eugene Timbers

FC Portland


Hood River Dynamos

NEU (now United PDX)

Pacific FC


Rogue Valley Timbers

San Juan

So Cal Blues


United PDX

Valley Revolution 00G (Alaska)

Washington Timbers

Wasilla Youth Soccer Association

Westside Timbers Soccer Club

Willamette United