Portland Thorns Academy

Portland Thorns Development Academy Coaching Director Named
Posted Apr 27, 2018

Laura Schott named Portland Thorns Development Academy Director

New for 2018-19 the Thorns FC Academy’s second year in the US Soccer Girls Development Academy

Following a successful inaugural season in the Girls DA, we have strived to improve the program and we are excited to announce that we will begin our second year with a full-time Thorns FC Academy director, Laura Schott.  Laura was formerly the Girls Director at FC Portland and prior to that, the head coach at Portland State University for 10 years with most winning record in program history.  As a collegiate player, she still stands as the all-time leader in goals scored at California and was a two-time All-American at Cal, as well as a Hermann Trophy finalist in 2001.

Additionally, Schott played with the U.S. Senior Women’s National Team at the 2001 Algarve Cup while she was still attending Cal.  After college, she played professionally and won a national championship with the Washington Freedom of the WUSA in 2003. As a prep player, Schott played locally for FC Portland and Jesuit High School, and won state titles every year she competed for each team. At Jesuit, Schott never lost a game while scoring 116 career goals and being named a two-time Oregon State Player of the Year and a high school All-American.  She is the perfect person to lead the Academy. 

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.   Darren Lilla will remain our Thorns FC Girls ODP Head Coach, which provides an invaluable link between our Pre-Academy and Academy programs this year, as well as adding to the vertical integration of philosophies within our club.

Thorns FC Academy staff also plan to utilize the Academy to train and educate some local coaches as well, who may be on the pathway to better themselves through the US Soccer licensing system.

In addition, and is new this year, Thorns FC Academy will be partnering with Westside Timbers who will provide administrative support to the program as well as some more consistent access to field space, particularly with stadium expansion going on.  The plan is to rotate Academy games and some practices around other metro communities to provide increased access to elite girls soccer for local players, coaches, parents and referees alike.

Tobin Heath Assistant Youth Technical Director

Posted Apr 19, 2018

The Portland Thorns FC Academy program uses a holistic approach in the development of players with thorough information on nutrition, sports psychology, strength conditioning, speed and agility. The goal for all Thorns youth players is to reach the top of the developmental pyramid (included below). From the academy, players will have the opportunity to advance to college or to the Thorns WPSL team (coming soon), a team made up of Thorns first-team reserve players and college players. From there, players will have the opportunity to earn collegiate scholarship offers, national team invites and have the chance to be drafted into the NWSL. Our top quality coaching and supporting staff have teamed up with members of the Thorns first team (both players and coaches) to establish the best tactics possible for our program.

Coaching Staff

2018/2019 Staff

Laura Schott
Academy Director

Chris Thurley
(A License)
HC - 2000/2001(U19)

Laura Schott
(B License)
HC - 2002/2003 (U17)

Laura Schott
(B License)
HC - 2004 (U15)

Tracy Nelson
(A License)
HC 2005/2006 (U14)

Sophie Clough
(B License and Thorns FC assistant coach)
Assistant Academy Coach

Kat Tarr
(B License and former Thorns FC pro player)
Assistant Academy Coach