Paul Riley (footballer)

Paul Riley (born 23 September 1963) is an English association football (soccer) manager who is currently head coach of North Carolina Courage in the National Women's Soccer League. He spent his entire professional playing career in American leagues, including the American Professional Soccer League and the USISL.

Paul Riley
Personal information
Date of birth (1963-09-23) 23 September 1963
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1982–1985 Adelphi Panthers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988 Albany Capitals (2)
1989–1990 New Jersey Eagles
1991 Glen Cove
1992 Hercules
1993 New York Atlas
1994–1997 Long Island Rough Riders
Teams managed
1986–1989 CW Post (assistant)
1990–1997 CW Post
1997–2003 Long Island Rough Riders
2006–2009 Long Island Fury
2010–2011 Philadelphia Independence
2012–2013 New York Fury
2014–2015 Portland Thorns
2016 Western New York Flash
2017– North Carolina Courage
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only



In 1982, Riley came to the United States to attend Adelphi University. From 1982 to 1985, he played on the Panthers men's soccer team.[1] In 1999, Adelphi inducted Riley into the school's Hall of Fame.[2]

Club career

After graduation, Riley became a manager, but in 1988, he turned professional when he joined the Albany Capitals of the American Soccer League.[3] The Capitals did not renew his contract at the end of the season and Riley moved to the New Jersey Eagles for the 1989 and 1990 season.[4] In 1990, the Eagles played in the American Professional Soccer League which had been formed by the merger of the American Soccer League and the Western Soccer League. Riley was 1989 All League[5] and 1990 Second Team All League. In 1991, Riley moved down to Glen Cove of the New England Professional Soccer League. Glen Cove won the league championship as Riley was named MVP. In 1992, he again moved, this time to Hercules, again winning the NEPSL title. In 1993, he played for New York Atlas. In 1994, Riley returned to professional soccer with the expansion Long Island Rough Riders of the USISL. In 1995, Riley and his teammates won the league title. When he retired at the end of the 1997 season, Riley held the team's all-time career record for assists.


In 1986, Riley began his coaching career when CW Post hired him as an assistant. In 1990, Riley became head coach at CW Post, a position he held until 1997. Over his eight seasons as head coach, he compiled an 88–49–13 record. In 1997, Riley became the head coach of the Long Island Rough Riders, in addition to his duties as a player with the Rough Riders and head coach of CW Post. In 1999, Riley was named the USISL A-League Coach of the Year.[6] In 2002, the Rough Riders moved down to the USL D3 Pro League, winning the league championship that season. His last season with the Rough Riders came in 2003. Over the years, Riley was involved with the Albertson Fury Soccer Club. In 2006, Riley became the head coach of the Long Island Fury of the Women's Premier Soccer League. The Fury was part of the Albertson Fury Soccer Club.[7] Riley coached the Fury through the 2008 season. In September 2009, the Philadelphia Independence of Women's Professional Soccer hired Riley as the team's first coach.[8] Riley was selected as the 2010 WPS Coach of the Year[9] In 2011, he took the team to the championship where they fell in penalties to the Western New York Flash. In 2012, he became the head coach of the New York Fury.

In 2013, Riley was named head coach of the Portland Thorns.[10] After leading the team to a 16–17–11 record and one playoff appearance over two seasons, but finishing the 2015 season in sixth place, the Thorns declined to renew Riley's contract.[11]

On February 19, 2016, Riley was announced as the head coach of the WNY Flash of the National Women's Soccer League.[12]

On January 9th 2017, Paul Riley became the head coach of the North Carolina Courage franchise as the National Women's Soccer League announced that the WNY Flash franchise would be relocated to North Carolina.[13]



Long Island Rough Riders
Philadelphia Independence
Western New York Flash
North Carolina Courage
  • National Women's Soccer League Champions (2018)
  • NWSL Shield Winner (2017 & 2018)
  • NWSL Coach of the Year (2017 & 2018)


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