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NWSL Oct 16, 2017

NC Courage coach Paul Riley voted NWSL Coach of the Year

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CHICAGO (Via NWSL) – North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley was voted the National Women’s Soccer League Coach of the Year for the 2017 NWSL season, the league announced Monday.

Riley, 54, led the Courage to the NWSL Shield with a record-tying 16 wins as they posted a 16-7-1 record in the club’s first year since relocating to North Carolina. It is the fourth consecutive year the coach of the team with the best regular-season record has been honored with the award.

The Liverpool, England native helped his team become just the fourth side in NWSL history to average more than two points per game with 49 points from 24 matches in 2017. He and his players spent 147 of 169 days during the regular-season in first-place – aided by an NWSL single-season record seven victories by the score line of 1-0.

+READ: Portland Thorns FC tops NC Courage 1-0 in NWSL Championship

The Courage also set an NWSL single-season record with 12 shutouts and conceded just 22 goals in 24 games during the 2017 regular season – with their 0.92 goals against average the fourth-best in the history of the league. Five of Carolina’s 12 shutouts in 2017 came away from home to equal the record for most clean sheets on the road set by Portland Thorns FC in 2013.

Riley and his players had two separate winning streaks of four games or more during the 2017 season – with their five consecutive victories during August tied for the longest winning streak in the NWSL this year.

The Courage reached the NWSL Championship a year after Riley led many of the same players to the 2016 NWSL title as the Western New York Flash, but were unable to come away with the league championship this time as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against the Thorns in the final at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

List of NWSL Coach of the Year winners:

Year Coach Club
2013 Vlatko Andonovski FC Kansas City
2014 Laura Harvey Seattle Reign FC
2015 Laura Harvey Seattle Reign FC
2016 Mark Parsons Portland Thorns FC
2017 Paul Riley North Carolina Courage

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