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


Tracy Nelson 

Academy Director
Head Coach for 
U13 & U15 Teams
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.



U17 and U19 Head Coach


Paul Karver - Head Coach U19 & U17
USSF A license
National GK License

Driven coach with 14 years experience at highly competitive NCAA soccer programs in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Southern California, Nevada, Oregon, and most recently, Northern California. A proven track record in recruiting and developing talent at the college, club and ODP levels. Consistently developed positive team cultures resulting in high achieving teams with a focus on the student-athlete experience.

Previous Coaching Experience

  • Head Coach, Humboldt State University
  • Assistant Coach, University of Oregon
  • Assistant Coach, University of Las Vegas
  • Assistant Coach, University of Redlands
  • Assistant Coach, Millikin University
  • Assistant Coach, George Fox University
  • Club Director, Sequoia F.C.
  • Staff Coach, Nevada ODP
  • Head Coach and professional staff, Heat S.C.
  • Staff Coach, West Region ODP

Other Licensing
USSF - National A License
USSF - National A License Renewal - Portland Timbers
USSF - National GK License
USSF - National Adult Coaching License
NSCAA - National Youth Diploma
TOVO - T1 Online Diploma


U16 Head Coach


Chris Thurley - Head Coach U16
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.


U14 Head Coach


Erin Grand - Head Coach U14
USSF B license "Candidate"

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


Shane Bangs


Shane Bangs                                                     Tiffany Crooks
Staff Coach                                                        Staff Coach
USSF C License                                                  USSF C License

Stacey Poole


Stacy Poole                                                     Constantino "Tino" Konstin
Staff Coach                                                      Staff Coach
USSF C License                                               USSF Licensed


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

2020/2021 Season

Tracy Nelson
Academy Director
USSF A License

Constantine Konstin

Academy Advisor
USSF A License
About Cony

Head Coaching Staff

2020-2021 Season
Head Coaching Staff

Paul Karver
U19 Team
U17 Team
USSF A License

Chris Thurley
U16 Team
USSF A License

Tracy Nelson
U15 Team
U13 Team
USSF A License

Erin Grand
U14 Team
USSF B License "Candidate"


Laura Schott
Scouting Id/ & College Advising

Staff Coaches

Staff Coaches

Linus Rhode
Thorns Academy
Staff Coach
USSF A License

Linus Rhode Biography

Staff Coaches

Maite Zabala
Thorns Academy
Goalie Coach
USSF A License

Maite Zabala Biography