Mark Parsons will take over the Dutch reins after this NWSL season. (Photo courtesy of Portland Thorns FC)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons Thursday announced he has accepted the position as the head coach of the Netherlands women’s national team.

He will remain with the club until the conclusion of the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League season.

The Thorns recently captured the NWSL Challenge Cup, defeating NJ/NY Gotham FC in a shootout after playing to a draw in regulation. They kicked off their regular season with a 5-0 home triumph over the Chicago Red Stars Sunday and will host regional rival OL Reign this Sunday.

“The Thorns are the pinnacle of club football and over the last six years I have had the distinct privilege of calling Portland my home,” Parsons said in a statement. “I am incredibly thankful for the support and understanding of Merritt and Gavin throughout this process. They truly treat this team as family and their leadership continues to set the standard. I am more focused and committed than ever to helping our players and staff reach our goals and bring joy to our fans this season.”

Thorns FC general manager and president Gavin Wilkinson admitted Parsons’ decision threw the organization a bit of a curve ball.

“This is not what we were expecting to be managing at this stage of the season however collectively we are in agreement with Mark’s decision as it is best for him and his family,” he said in a statement. “We remain 100 percent committed to the 2021 season with Mark at the helm and appreciate the way in which this has been managed from the KNVB and Mark. The process for hiring a new head coach will start in the coming months and we plan to appoint the next head coach at the conclusion of the season.”

The U.S. women’s national team defeated the Netherlands in the 2019 Women’s World Cup final.

The Dutch also qualified for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.