Portland Thorns Academy

Linus Rhode
Staff Coach DA
USSF A License

Former Head Coach
Oregon State University

Coach Biography


Maite Zabala
Goalie Coach DA
USSF A License

Portland Thorns Development Academy Coaching Staff

2019/2020 Coaching Staff


We are excited to enter our 3rd Year in the US Soccer Girls Development Academy. We will continue to strengthen and grow the program. The DA Program is expanding to add a 5th team to our region with the addition of the U16 age group. For the 2019/2020 Season the Portland Thorns Academy will have teams in the U18/19, U17, U16, U15, and U14 age groups.

The coaching staff will be integrated and will work with each other across the age groups, as well as with the Thorns FC first team coaches when available

Thorns FC Academy will continue to partner with Westside Timbers who will provide administrative support to the program as well as some more consistent access to field space.

Laura Schott - Academy Director
Head Coach U17 & U19
Thorns Development Academy
USSF A licensed "candidate"

Previous Coaching

  • Portland State University, Head Coach
  • US Soccer Training Center, Director

Playing Experience

  • Capped player for US Womens National Team
  • U-21 US Womens National Team
  • Washington Freedom
  • FC Energia
  • University of California, Berkeley

Additionally, Schott played with the U.S. Senior Women's National Team at the 2001 Algarve Cup while she was still attending Cal. After college, she played professionally and won a national championship with the Washington Freedom of the WUSA in 2003. As a prep player, Schott played locally for FC Portland and Jesuit High School, and won state titles every year she competed for each team. At Jesuit, Schott never lost a game while scoring 116 career goals and being named a two-time Oregon State Player of the Year and a high school All-American.


Chris Thurley - Head Coach U16
Thorns Development Academy
USSF A licensed coach

Chris has lived in the US for 28 years, coaching at the state and regional level since 1994. He coached boys and girls at La Salle HS before moving to Jesuit HS (where also teaches History & Health) in 2005. In that time, he has coached numerous players that have gone on to play professionally, including Kendall Johnson (Portland Thorns) Ryan Cochrane (various MLS teams) and Rubio Rubin (currently playing for Tijuana in Liga MX ). Chris played soccer in England at Bishop's Stortford Swifts in the Essex Olympian League (1984-1990).

Chris has earned numerous coaching awards, including 8 state 'Coach of the Year' awards through 'The Oregonian' & OSAA, and most recently the Timbers ODP Boys Coach of the Year for 2016.

Chris holds a current USSF 'A' & 'Y' license as well as Advance National Diploma through the NSCAA.


Tracy Nelson - Head Coach U14
Thorns Development Academy
USSF A licensed coac

Coaching Experience:
Portland Thorns Girls DA -U14 Head Coach: 2017-Current

Clackamas Community College Head Soccer Coach from 2002-2010 and was NWAACC Champions in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Was named NWAACC Coach of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2007, Southern Region Coach of the Year in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010. Compiled a record of 123-38-18 over 9 season.

Has coached in the ODP/RTC programs and ODP regional teams, all ages of club soccer, HS soccer and individual coaching.

Playing Accomplishments:
University of Portland 1991 - 1995, where she was a starter and all-conference selection all four years, voted most inspirational player in 1994, finished career as 5th overall in goals and assists and was a member of the first Final Four team in 1994.

Professional and Amateur Player Accomplishments:
Played for Millwall FC in 1997, which were treble Cup winners, including the prestigious FA Cup Champions. Played for Umea IK in Sweden in 1996. Was named Herald Women of the Year in Sports in 1994, member of the gold medal Olympic Festival team in 1993 and was a member of the US Youth National Team from 1990-1992.