Riley Named Finalist In FIFA Best Football Awards

Riley, NWSL
Paul Riley. Photo: Andy Mead/

For four decades Paul Riley has been a fixture in the Long Island soccer community.

The Liverpool native and current coach of the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage has now been nominated as a Best FIFA Women’s Coach as part of The Best FIFA Football Awards.

Riley is in good company with his nine fellow nominees. Among them are U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis, England Women’s National Team head coach Phil Neville and Netherlands Women’s National Team head coach Sarina Wiegman. 

Riley’s connection to Long Island dates back to the 1980s when he came to the United States to attend Adelphi University, where he played on the men’s soccer team. He has coached at the youth, college and professional levels since the early 1990s.

In the NWSL, Riley has coached the Portland Thorns, Western New York Flash and the Courage. He has won the NWSL championship twice in 2016 with Western New York and 2018 with North Carolina. 

In total, the Best FIFA competition includes 42 individuals in four categories: Best Men’s Player, Best Women’s Players, Best Men’s Coach and Best Women’s Coach. The shortlists in each category were selected by two panels of experts, one for men’s football/soccer and one for women’s football/soccer.

Voting is now open through August 19. The decision will be split between four key pillars of the beautiful game: the players, the coaches, the fans and the media. The four groups of voters – namely: national team captains, national team coaches, selected media and the fan vote conducted on – are weighted evenly (25% each) when determining the final result.