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Canadian Premier League 2021 Rob Gale

Former Valour Boss Rob Gale Named Portland Thorns Interim Head Coach

By on April 16, 2024 0 1416 Views

With the Portland Thorns bottom of the NWSL table after four matches, the club is moving quickly to make significant staff adjustments at an early stage of the campaign.

Rob Gale will now lead the Thorns as an interim head coach after the decision was made to move head coach Mike Norris to the technical director role, with the club starting its search for a permanent head coach effective immediately.

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“After an in-depth review, we have decided to start to reorganize our soccer operations department to better serve our club and our athletes,” revealed Thorns GM and President Karina LeBlanc.

Gale’s interim role comes just over a year since he first signed on as an assistant coach with the Portland Thorns, prior to which he had held a youth coach role with the New York City FC Academy.

His first season assisting the side saw them finish second overall before bowing out the playoff semi-final stage to Gotham FC, who would go on to win it all.

Portland Thorns Rob Gale

Gale’s first match as the interim team boss will take place this weekend, with the Portland Thorns hosting the Houston Dash on Saturday. Both sides have struggled defensively this season and will be keen to make good on an opportunity to play against one another.

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Gale’s predecessor, Mike Norris, had first stepped into that lead role following the resignation of Rhian Wilkinson, having been an assistant himself at the time.

“Thorns FC have set the standard for excellence in the league. These changes will help us maximize our strengths as we continuously pursue championship-level success,” continues LeBlanc.

Valour FC Rob Gale

Gale had helmed Valour FC through the Canadian Premier League’s first two-and-a-half seasons before being replaced by Phil Dos Santos. He tallied an overall record of seventeen wins, eight draws, and thirty-one losses across all competitions, describing his time with the club as one in which he didn’t get a lot of support.

The former Valour FC head coach had also once coached Canada at the youth level, assisting the Canada U-17 men’s team in 2010 and helping the squad to two successive FIFA U-17 World Cup appearances. He also worked with the U-16, U-18, and U-20 teams at various points, and had worked with the Canadian women’s national team in 2021.

His former side Valour FC finished last in the CPL in 2023, and face a tough seven-game road trip to begin its sixth season.

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