Portland Thorns Academy - 4th Year





For the 2021/2022 Season, the Portland Thorns Academy will have teams in the U19, U17, U16, U15, U14 and U13 age groups. The Thorns Academy will play in the ECNL League.

The coaching staff will be integrated and will work with each other across the age groups, as well as with the Thorns FC first team coaches, when available.

Portland Thorns Academy will continue to partner with Westside Timbers, who will provide administrative support to the program as well as a more consistent access to field space.

2021/2022 Portland Thorns Academy Staff

U19 Head Coach

Esteban Llamosa - Head Coach U19 ECNL and U19 Regional League
USSF D license

Portland Thorns Academy Staff

U17 Head Coach


Tracy Nelson 

Head Coach for 
U17 Team
USSF A license

Previous Coaching Experience

  • Portland Thorns Academy - Head Coach: 2017-Current
  • Clackamas Community College Head Soccer Coach from 2002-2010 and were NWAACC Champions in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
  • Coached in the ODP/RTC programs and ODP regional teams, all ages of club soccer, HS soccer and individual coaching.

NWAACC Coach of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2007
Southern Region Coach of the Year in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010

Playing Accomplishments
University of Portland 1991 - 1995, where she was a starter and all-conference selection all four years, voted most inspirational player in 1994, finished career as 5th overall in goals and assists and was a member of the first Final Four team in 1994. Played for Millwall FC in 1997, which were Treble Cup winners, including the prestigious FA Cup Champions. Played for Umea IK in Sweden in 1996. Was named Herald Women of the Year in Sports in 1994, member of the gold medal Olympic Festival team in 1993 and was a member of the US Youth National Team from 1990-1992.



U16 Head Coach


Sharla Topaum - Head Coach U16
USSF C license


Previous Coaching Experience

  • Portland Timbers & Thorns Regional Training Center (RTC)
    • RTC East Director, 2016 – 2020
    • RTC East Staff Coach, 2014 – 2016
  • Olympic Development Program (ODP)
  • Head Coach U12 – U14 Girls, 2015 – 2020 Eastside Timbers and Thorns
  • Head Coach, U10 – U19 Girls, 2009 – 2021
  • Assistant Coach, U18 Boys, 2020 – 2021


Sharla has a proven history of leading teams in postseason play:

  • USYS National League Northwest Champions 2019 – 2020 (U18G)
  • Oregon State Cup Champions 2019 (U17G), 2013 (U12G), 2012 (U11G)
  • Oregon State Cup Finalist 2015 (U15G)

Playing Experience and Education

  • Played collegiate soccer at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Alberta, Canada
  • Earned a Master of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Portland State University

U15 Head Coach


Erin Grand - Head Coach U15
USSF B license

Previous Coaching Experience

  • Bridge City Soccer Club U15 Head Coach
  • Region 4 ODP U14 Assistant Coach
  • Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club U18 Head Coach
  • North Carolina Football Club Youth U13 Head Coach
  • University of North Carolina Match Analytics Women's Soccer
  • North Carolina ODP Staff Coach
  • Triangle Futbol Club Alliance U13 and U14 Head Coach
  • University of Western Ontario Assistant Coach Women's Soccer
  • North London Soccer Club U13, U17, U18 Head Coach
  • Wilfrid Laurier University Assistant Coach Women's Soccer: 2011-2013

Coaching Licenses

  • USSF C License
  • United Soccer Coaches Premier License
  • Canada Soccer Pre-B License


U14 Head Coach


Shane Bangs- Head Coach U14
USSF C license

Previous Coaching Experience 

  • Portland Thorns Academy Assistant Coach 2008's (U13)
  • Portland Thorns Academy Assistant Coach 2006's (U15)
  • Portland Thorns RTC Director '17/'18, '18/'19, '20/21
  • Westside Timbers TS Head Coach U11, U12, U13 & U14
  • Willamette United Head Coach U11

Playing Experience

- Oregon State University 




U13 Head Coach


Ryan Johnson- Head Coach U13
USSF B license

Playing and Coaching Experience:

  • Major League Soccer: Charlotte FC - North American Scout, Current
  • Major League Soccer: Real Salt Lake, Chicago Fire, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto FC - Professional Soccer Player, 2006-2013
  • Sweden: Osters IF - Professional Soccer Player, 2007
  • Chinese Super League: Henan Jianye - Professional Soccer Player, 2014-2015
  • K-League: Seoul E-Land FC - Professional Soccer Player, 2015-2016
  • National Team: Jamaica - Professional Soccer Player, 2006-2013
  • Florida Gulf Coast University: Men's Assistant Coach, 2017-2018


  • 2006 Lamar Hunts Open Cup Champions
  • 2009 Golden Boot
  • 2009 Team Most Valuable Player
  • 2010 Caribbean Cup Champions
  • 2012 Canadian Cup Champions
  • 2012 George Gross Memorial Trophy - Canadian Championships Best Player
  • 2013 West Conference Champions


  • Oregon State University, Bachelor of Science

2006 MLS Superdraft

Staff Coach


Chris Thurley  
USSF A license

Previous Coaching Experience

  • Portland Thorns Academy - Head Coach: 2017- Current
  • Westside Timbers, Head Coach, various teams
  • Jesuit High School, Head Coach
  • La Salle High School, Head Coach

Awards including:
Timbers ODP Boys Coach of the Year, 2016
Eight-time 'Coach of the Year' awards through 'The Oregonian' & OSAA

Chris has coached at the state and regional level since 1994. He coached boys and girls at La Salle HS before moving to Jesuit HS in 2005. In that time, he has coached numerous players that have gone on to play professionally, including Kendall Johnson (Portland Thorns), Ryan Cochrane (various MLS teams) and Rubio Rubin (Real Salt Lake). Chris played soccer in England at Bishop's Stortford Swifts in the Essex Olympian League (1984-1990).

Chris holds a current USSF 'A' & 'Y' license as well as Advance National Diploma through the NSCAA.



Academy Staff

2021/2022 Season

John Bain
Academy Technical Director
USSF B License


Constantine Konstin

Academy Advisor
USSF A License
About Cony

Head Coaching Staff

2021-2022 Season
Head Coaching Staff

Esteban Llamosa
U19 Team

Tracy Nelson
U17 Team

Sharla Topaum
U16 Team

Erin Grand
U15 Team

Shane Bangs
U14 Team

Ryan Johnson
U13 Team


Staff Coaches

Maite Zabala - Goalie Coach
Head Goalie Coach - since 2018
USSF A license

Maite Zabala Biography

2021/2022 Assistant Coaches

U19 Team - Taylor Kernion

U16 Team - Sonimi Halliday

U15 Team - Chirs Thurley

U14 Team - Maria Frias

U13 Team - Contantine "Tino" Konstin



Thorns Academy Office
(971) 245-5189