Washington Spirit part ways with Mark Parsons after second stint as manager

HARRISON, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 16: Mark Parsons, manager of Washington Spirit, looks on before a match against NJ/NY Gotham FC at Red Bull Arena on September 16, 2023 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Former Netherlands manager and Chelsea assistant Mark Parsons has been released from his duties at Washington Spirit. The separation comes after a second spell in charge of the NWSL side for the Englishman.

In a short statement released by the club, it was confirmed that Parsons ‘will not return to the Washington Spirit next season’. Parsons had previously led the Spirit for three trophy-less seasons between 2013 and 2015. Although, Parsons had an incredibly successful period with Portland Thorns prior to this, winning six trophies over a five season period, including two NWSL Shields.

After just seven wins during the season and finishing in eighth place, the decision will likely not surprise many fans. Parsons went on record to state: “It has been a privilege to be back in Washington DC and the NWSL this past year. I am proud of the work the players and the staff have put in this season.

“While I am disappointed to not be returning to the Spirit in 2024, I wish Michele [Kang] and everyone at the club my gratitude and best wishes.”

Read: NWSL Decision Day recap

Embed from Getty Images

The reception to Parsons’ initial hiring was a positive one for fans. Despite Washington’s success on the field with their 2021 NWSL Shield win, there had been much discontent off the field.

Outgoing manager Kris Ward and the reported circumstances surrounding it left a bitter taste in many NWSL fans mouths. Undeniably, it was a welcome sight for fans to see a former and consistent manager returning to the DC side.

Nonetheless, it’s unlikely that a manager with the pedigree of Parsons will be out of the sport for too long.

MORE from Her Football Hub: