Portland Thorns Academy - 4th Year





For the 2020/2021 Season, the Portland Thorns Academy will have teams in the U19, U17, U16, U15, U14 and U13 age groups. The Thorns Academy will play in the ECNL League.

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.

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

2020/2021 Portland Thorns Academy Staff

Portland Thorns Academy Staff

Academy Director & U17 Head Coach


Tracy Nelson 

Academy Director
Head Coach for 
U17 Team
USSF A license

Previous Coaching Experience

  • Portland Thorns Academy - Head Coach: 2017-Current
  • Clackamas Community College Head Soccer Coach from 2002-2010 and were NWAACC Champions in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
  • Coached in the ODP/RTC programs and ODP regional teams, all ages of club soccer, HS soccer and individual coaching.

NWAACC Coach of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2007
Southern Region Coach of the Year in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010

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. 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.



U19 & U13 Head Coach

Linus Rhode
Head Coach U19 and U9
USSF A license

In addition to his role with the Portland Thorns Academy, Linus is currently Head of Women's Soccer (North America) Sports Recruiting USA.

Linus Rhode played soccer at the University of Portland where he was the Captain of the 1995 NCAA Division I Final Four team. He played on Canada's U18, U20 and U21 National teams and was picked as the most creative player in Canada. He was also a member of the 1996 Canadian Olympic Team. He has held various coaching positions, including the Women's Head Coach at Oregon State University from 2008-2018 and Assistant Coach at Oregon State from 2000-2008. He also served as a coach for the Oregon Development Program and Regional IV staff from 1999-2000. He has coached many male and female players including several notable players such as Jodie Taylor (NSWL, Women's English League, English National Team), Rachel Axon (NWSL), Courtney Wetzel (NWSL), Colleen Boyd (NWSL), and Bella Geist (NWSL).

U16 Head Coach


Sharla Topaum - Head Coach U16

Previous Coaching Experience

  • Coming Soon

U15 Head Coach


Erin Grand - Head Coach U15
USSF B license

Previous Coaching Experience

  • Bridge City Soccer Club U15 Head Coach
  • Region 4 ODP U14 Assistant Coach
  • Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club U18 Head Coach
  • North Carolina Football Club Youth U13 Head Coach
  • University of North Carolina Match Analytics Women's Soccer
  • North Carolina ODP Staff Coach
  • Triangle Futbol Club Alliance U13 and U14 Head Coach
  • University of Western Ontario Assistant Coach Women's Soccer
  • North London Soccer Club U13, U17, U18 Head Coach
  • Wilfrid Laurier University Assistant Coach Women's Soccer: 2011-2013

Coaching Licenses

  • USSF C License
  • United Soccer Coaches Premier License
  • Canada Soccer Pre-B License


U14 Head Coach


Shane Bangs- Head Coach U14
USSF C license

Previous Coaching Experience




Staff Coach


Chris Thurley  
USSF A license

Previous Coaching Experience

  • Portland Thorns Academy - Head Coach: 2017- Current
  • Westside Timbers, Head Coach, various teams
  • Jesuit High School, Head Coach
  • La Salle High School, Head Coach

Awards including:
Timbers ODP Boys Coach of the Year, 2016
Eight-time 'Coach of the Year' awards through 'The Oregonian' & OSAA

Chris has coached at the state and regional level since 1994. He coached boys and girls at La Salle HS before moving to Jesuit HS 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 (Real Salt Lake). Chris played soccer in England at Bishop's Stortford Swifts in the Essex Olympian League (1984-1990).

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



Tracy Nelson named Academy Director

March 18, 2021

We are pleased to announce that Tracy Nelson will be moving into the Academy Director position effective immediately.  Over this past year, Tracy has been taking more of an active role in the leadership of the Academy with the intent to move her into the Director position.  This will streamline the leadership, communications and direction for the Academy moving forward.

The Franklin Post - December 2020
"In Pursuit of Success, Coaches of Portland Tracy Nelson"

Our Game Magazine - October 2020
"Tracy Osborn's Millwall and FA Cup Adventure"


Academy Staff

2021/2022 Season

Tracy Nelson
Academy Director
USSF A License

Constantine Konstin

Academy Advisor
USSF A License
About Cony

Head Coaching Staff

2021-2022 Season
Head Coaching Staff

Linus Rhode
U19 Team
U13 Team
USSF A License

Tracy Nelson
U17 Team
Academy Director
USSF A License

Sharla Topaum
U16 Team
USSF C License

Erin Grand
U15 Team
USSF B License 

Shane Bangs
U14 Team
USSF C License

Linus Rhode
U13 Team
USSF A License

Staff Coaches

Maite Zabala - Goalie Coach
Head Goalie Coach - since 2018
USSF A license

Maite Zabala Biography



Thorns Academy Office
(971) 245-5189


Laura Schott
Scouting Id/ & College Advising