By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 14, 2014-Six women from the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) who played in the inaugural season of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL)––Michelle Betos, Vicki DiMartino, Domenica Hodak, Allie Long, Jasmyne Spencer and Brittany Taylor––all were coached by Paul Riley as kids. So it makes perfect sense that he is joining them in the NWSL for year two. After the resignation of Portland Thorns head coach Cindy Parlow Cone for personal reasons, Paul was hired to take over the champions.
"The goal is to have Portland win the regular season championship and host the NWSL Final. I want to bring a training culture to the team and improve the daily training environment. I want to see United States Women’s National Team players like Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath plus Canadian superstar Christine Sinclair work tremendously hard at practice to improve certain aspects of their game," Paul commented.
"We are certainly blessed with a very talented group of players and it's going to be a fantastic opportunity to coach some of the premier soccer players in the world in a city that is madly passionate about the game," Coach Riley added. "The Thorns expect to average 15,000 fans a game and I hope we can give them a brand of soccer they will enjoy and be proud to embrace."
Previously serving as head coach of the Philadelphia Independence in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS), the 50-year-old Rockville Centre resident built the club into one of the best teams in the league, reaching the WPS championship match in each of the team’s two seasons. He was a two-time WPS Coach of the Year selection (2010, 2011). Paul also coached the Long Island Fury of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), leading the club to a national championship in its inaugural 2006 season and a second national title in 2009 while being honored as WPSL Coach of the Year that same year.
Paul has served as the Director of Coaching for the Albertson Soccer Club of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) since 2001, transforming Albertson into one of the top clubs in the United States. He will remain in that capacity with Albertson.
"I'll be in (Portland) for the seven months of the season, prior to it and postseason to make sure everything is taken care of, then I'll be back into New York to continue to direct the club," he commented.
He coached various LIJSL teams to 24 State Open Cup championships during the past two decades. Paul coached the HBC Fury to an amazing seven consecutive State Open Cup titles and the Albertson Fury 90 to six consecutive titles. The HBC Fury also won two Regional championships, and the East Islip Redmen boys that he coached won one Regional as well.
A native of Liverpool and huge fan of the Reds, he began his professional coaching career as head coach of the Long Island Rough Riders from 1998 to 2003, earning USL A-League Coach of the Year honors in 1999 and guiding the Rough Riders to the USL D3 Pro League championship in 2002.
At the college level, he served as head coach of the CW Post men’s soccer team from 1990 to ‘97, registering an 88-49-13 overall record and garnering New York Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year recognition an incredible five times (1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997).
As a player, Paul spent a 10-year professional career with the Albany Capitals (1988), New Jersey Eagles (1989-92) and the Rough Riders (1994-98). He also played for Glen Cove, Hercules and New York Atlas in the Eastern New York Adult Soccer Association.
A midfielder at Adelphi University from 1982 to ‘85, Paul still holds the program’s all-time career record in assists (43) and was inducted into the Adelphi Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.