How Paul Riley and the North Carolina Courage will top the team’s highly successful 2018 campaign remains to be seen, but the head coach will be back in Cary, N.C., for the foreseeable future.
The National Women’s Soccer League side and Riley have reached an agreement on a new multi-year contract.
Director of the Paul Riley Soccer School on Long Island, Riley in 2018 led the Courage to a historic treble. The team won the NWSL Championship, won its second consecutive NWSL Shield and was also champions of the inaugural Women’s International Champions Cup.
“We are thrilled to have Paul continue to guide the team,” said Curt Johnson, North Carolina Football Club’s president and general manager. “Paul is a consummate professional who has built a strong, winning culture within the Courage. We look forward to having him lead the team with continued success for years to come.”
Riley joined the Courage during the team’s transition from Western New York and led the team to a 16-win season and the 2017 NWSL Shield. In his second season with the team in 2018, the Courage followed its inaugural season with a record-breaking campaign that saw the team lose only one match on the way to the league’s title.
“Tremendous honor to be back at this club,” said Riley. “We have an amazing group of talented players who are willing to walk the wire in the clouds. They have given me the Courage to follow them. It’s an exhilarating time at the club and our fanbase is second to none. I’m looking forward to the challenge of a World Cup year and we have a motivated staff who will strain every sinew they have to service the team and make the club successful.”
The Courage in 2018 broke several records including most wins in a season (17), most points (57) and most goals (53). The team’s success led to Riley being voted NWSL Coach of the Year in 2018; an award he received in 2017 as well.
In his first year with the Western New York Flash (now North Carolina Courage), Riley led the team to the 2016 NWSL Championship where they defeated the Washington Spirit 3-2 in penalty kicks to raise the trophy. Before coaching the Flash, he was the head coach of the Portland Thorns in 2014 and 2015.