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Portland Thorns Rob Gale

Rob Gale Is Getting His Flowers From Portland Thorns

By on May 9, 2024 0 1214 Views

At a time when Canadian Premier League side Valour FC is suffering perhaps its lowest low, its former head coach Rob Gale is earning plenty of plaudits south of the border after an interim promotion as the Portland Thorns head coach.

Gale is no stranger to the club, having first signed on as an assistant coach over a year ago – but what he’s quickly inspired in his new position has been nothing short of remarkable.

The team has done a complete u-turn under his guidance, going from one point from its first four games to winning all four matches following his interim promotion. Three of those came in a one week span, the latest of which was a 2-1 win over the Washington Spirit. While midfielder Sam Coffey described it as an ugly game, she says the Thorns have buzzed back to life under Rob Gale.

“I think Rob is such a great motivator, and he brings really great energy to our team,” says Coffey. “I think that’s something that the team has really fed off of. He has great relationships with the players. I know he believes in every single one of us.”

“I think when you have someone with that special quality and a person like Rob with his character, you’re in a really good place. He’s doing a really great job, I think he was thrown into the fire in a really hard position, and he’s just doing awesome. We’re really happy for him, and we want to keep this rolling.”

Perhaps an even better credit would come from Canadian icon Christine Sinclair, who says that Rob has helped her refine her love of the game. Those are big words to come from the 40-year-old veteran, who tallied 190 goals for Canada and is one of just three players to score throughout five World Cup editions.

“It’s been an absolute blast and privilege to play these last few games,” said Sinclair regarding Rob’s interim transition. “Yeah, he just told me to go out and play, be free, and just read the game. I’ve always been able to put the ball in the back of the net if you give me a chance, so it’s been a lot of fun, I’m not gonna lie.”

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Gale has made a strong case for making his head coach title permanent with Portland Thorns, but even when credit was heaped upon him, he turned the spotlight onto the support staff and players around him.

“I have a great group of people around me,” said Gale. “We’re in a privileged position to represent such a great organization in an unbelievable soccer city. We owe it to everybody out there: the fans who show up every week with a smile on their face and enjoy what we’re doing. It’s hard work, but if they put the work in and come together and play like they have been for eachother, the rewards are great. It’s so enjoyable to see them play.”

Valour FC Rob Gale
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

The move is his first senior head coach position since his two-and-a-half year spell with Valour FC. Named as that club’s first-ever head coach, he tallied an overall record of seventeen wins, eight draws, and thirty-one losses across all competitions, describing his time with the CPL side as one in which he didn’t ultimately get a lot of support from Winnipeg Football Group.

The Manitoba-based team still has yet to make playoffs, finishing bottom of the table last year and recording a winless start to its 2024 campaign five games in. The Portland Thorns were in a similar position before Gale took the reigns, though for him the grass is undoubtedly greener where the Thorns grow.

Header Image Photo Credit: Portland Thorns

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