UNC’s Parlow Cone Named Thorns FC Head Coach.

Cindy Parlow Cone



Cindy Parlow Cone has spent many afternoons in her adult life on the sidelines of UNC’s Fetzer Field, first as a player for the Tar Heels and then as an assistant coach.

She played 158 times for the U.S. WNT, helped her team win the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and a pair of gold Olympic medals (1996, 2004).

Now she’ll be on the sideline clear across the U.S. in Oregon, but this time with a team of her own.

Parlow Cone, 34, a native of Memphis, TN, was recently named the head coach of the Portland Thorns FC of the new National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

“Cindy had a very successful playing carteer at the highest levels of the sport and is very well respected,” said Gavin Wilkinson, Portland Timbers general manager in announcing the hire.

“As a coach, Cindy is ambitious, and we feel she is the perfect fit to lead Thorns FC and help build the women’s game in Portland.”

Parlow Cone graduated early from Germantown High School to enroll at UNC a year early. There she played on three national championship teams, was a four-time All-America and two-time Hermann Trophy winner (1997, 1998). She has been a UNC assistant coach for the past six seasons, helped guide the Tar Heels to national title seasons in 2009 and 2012.

When asked what Parlow Cone brings to her new position, UNC head coach Anson Dorrance said, “she brings credibility because she’s done it at the highest level.

“She brings experience because she’s been working with our elite players and doing a very good job with them, especially this season when we gave her more responsibility.

“She also brings the professional platform of her husband in the mix because he has a PhD in elite level fitness and his experience with soccer fitness is unique.”

She recorded 68 goals with 53 assists during her collegiate career in Chapel Hill.

As a member of the U.S. WNT she ranks among the team’s all-time leading scorers with 75 goals and 35 assists for 158 career points.

She played professionally for three seasons in the Women’s United Soccer Association for the Atlanta Beat.

For the past six years she has served as Director of Coaching for senior girls with the Triangle United Soccer Association, and has been a member of the U.S. U-14 and U-15 Girls National Team coaching staffs.
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