|Full name||Portland Thorns FC|
|Stadium|| Providence Park |
|Head Coach||Mark Parsons|
|League||National Women's Soccer League|
The Portland Thorns FC is an American professional women's soccer team based in Portland, Oregon. Established in 2012, the team began play in 2013 in the then-eight-team National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), which receives support from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), and formerly the Mexican Football Federation (FMF).The Portland franchise is owned by Peregrine Sports LLC, which also owns the Portland Timbers. The Thorns, the Houston Dash, the Orlando Pride, and the Utah Royals are other NWSL teams with Major League Soccer affiliations.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
Portland is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon and the seat of Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. As of 2018, Portland had an estimated population of 653,115, making it the 25th most populated city in the United States, and the second-most populous in the Pacific Northwest. Approximately 2.4 million people live in the Portland metropolitan statistical area (MSA), making it the 25th most populous in the United States. Its combined statistical area (CSA) ranks 19th-largest with a population of around 3.2 million. Approximately 60% of Oregon's population resides within the Portland metropolitan area.
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada.
In its inaugural season, the Portland Thorns FC placed third during the regular season and, in the playoffs, won the first ever NWSL championship. The club won the NWSL Shield in 2016and a second NWSL Championship in 2017.
The 2013 season was the Portland Thorns' inaugural season in the newly created National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), the top division of women's professional soccer in the United States. The Thorns ended the 22-game regular season with a 10-6-6 record, qualifying them for the NWSL playoffs. In their semi-final game the team beat FC Kansas City 3-2 in extra time, qualifying them to play Western New York Flash in the championship. The Thorns beat the Flash 2–0, making Portland Thorns FC the NWSL champion.
The NWSL Shield is an annual award given to the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) team with the best regular season record, as determined by the NWSL points system. The NWSL Shield has been annually awarded since 2013, and is recognized as a major trophy by the league.
The Thorns have had the highest average attendance in the league in each of their first seven seasons, and set a league attendance record of 25,218 at an August 11, 2019 match against the North Carolina Courage.
The first professional women's soccer team in Portland was started by the Portland Timbers in 2001, competing alongside teams formed by the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps in the USL W-League's W-1 division.In Portland the team was christened the Portland Rain and played the 2000 season in the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL). The team played the 2001 season in the W-League before returning to the PCSL until 2003 when the team folded. Women's soccer was also well-supported via the University of Portland Pilots.
The Seattle Sounders Women is an American women's soccer team, founded in 2001. The team was a member of the United Soccer Leagues USL W-League, the second tier of women’s soccer in the United States, until 2015 when the league shut down. In 2016 they joined the Women's Premier Soccer League.
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC women are a Canadian women's soccer team founded in 2001 and a part of the greater Vancouver Whitecaps FC club. Originally called the Vancouver Breakers in 2001–02, the team was a member of the USL W-League, the second tier of women's soccer in the United States and Canada, from 2003 to 2012. The team won the 2004 and 2006 championships, and was runner-up in 2001 and 2010.
The USL W-League was a North American women's soccer developmental organization. The W-League was also an open league, giving college players the opportunity to play alongside established international players while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The league was administered by the United Soccer Leagues system, which also oversees the men's United Soccer League and Premier Development League. The W-League announced on November 6, 2015 that the league will cease operation ahead of 2016 season.
The Portland Rain were re-founded in 2009 when they joined the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL). On May 2, 2012 the Portland Timbers partnered with the Portland Rain and the Oregon Youth Soccer Association's (OYSA) Girls Olympic Development (ODP) program. This precursor to the NWSL announcement the following November was to facilitate an integrated development structure for Oregon's girls youth soccer to elite women's competition.After the start of the NWSL, in the 2013 WPSL the Portland Rain's spot was replaced by a Timbers Alliance club Westside Timbers and Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club (THUSC) Diamonds. These two teams join the Oregon Rush (2011), now Bend FC Timbers, and Eugene Metro Futbol Club (EMFC in 2012) so Oregon has a total of four WPSL teams at this level of the American soccer pyramid.
The Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) is a national women's soccer league in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and is on the second level of women's soccer in the United States soccer pyramid, below National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and roughly equal with United Women's Soccer (UWS). The WPSL is the largest women's soccer league in the world.
The United States soccer league system is a series of professional and amateur soccer leagues based, in whole or in part, in the United States. Sometimes called the American soccer pyramid, teams and leagues are not linked by the system of promotion and relegation typical in soccer elsewhere. Instead, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) defines professional leagues in three levels, called divisions, with all other leagues sanctioned by USSF not having an official designated level or division.
The formation of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) was announced on November 21, 2012, with Portland selected as a host for one of the eight teams.At that time it was announced by Portland Timbers' owner Merritt Paulson that the Timbers would own the team. The team name was announced as the Portland Thorns FC on December 13, 2012, with a logo also unveiled. Both the name and logo were intended to invoke Portland's nickname of the Rose City.
Henry Merritt Paulson III is the majority owner of Peregrine Sports, LLC which owns the Portland Timbers, a Major League Soccer (MLS) team, and the Portland Thorns, a National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) team, both based in Portland, Oregon. He is primarily known by the name Merritt Paulson.
Cindy Parlow Cone was announced as the first head coach on December 19, 2012.On January 11, 2013, the league held its player allocation for the national team players, with Portland receiving seven players, including former University of Portland Pilots star Christine Sinclair. The other players assigned to the Thorns were Rachel Buehler, Tobin Heath, Karina LeBlanc, Alex Morgan, Marlene Sandoval, and Luz Saucedo.
"We are thrilled with today's allocation, and I see this group of seven players as a terrific foundation for this club," said Parlow Cone.Seattle Reign FC general manager Amy Carnell reaction to the NWSL allocation and Morgan's placement was, "I think generally speaking, I could speak for all the clubs when I say I'm extremely surprised they would place (Christine) Sinclair and (Alex) Morgan in the same city. Two of the best strikers in the world in the same city." Carnell said Seattle Reign FC "were a little surprised" they didn't get Morgan, considering that she had spent the previous spring with the Seattle Sounders Women. This reunited Sinclair and Morgan as club mates since winning the regular season and championship title with the Western New York Flash in Women's Professional Soccer's final season.
Under head coach Cindy Parlow Cone, the Thorns played in the new league's inaugural game on April 13, 2013 against host team FC Kansas City, which ended in a 1–1 draw in which Christine Sinclair scored the club's first goal on a penalty kick.The team's first home match on April 21 provided the club its first victory, a 2–1 win over Seattle Reign FC. Beyond setting a new league record, the opening day crowd of 16,479 at Jeld-Wen Field eclipsed any single-game attendance from Women's Professional Soccer. Subsequently, the team's regular-season home finale of 17,619 topped the previous mark of 16,479 and also ranks among the top single-game marks in women's professional soccer history in the United States.
On the road, Thorns FC also seem to be an attendance draw. Portland's road games have been witnessed by season-high attendance figures or sellout crowds, including a record-setting crowd at the Maryland SoccerPlex against the Washington Spirit on May 4.A total of 5,011 fans were present, besting the previous record for a women's game at the Soccerplex by more than 300 and about 500 more than normal capacity.
On August 28, 2013, NWSL announced Thorns FC forwards Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan and defender Rachel Buehler were named to the National Women's Soccer League Best XI Second Team. 3 seed in the NWSL playoffs. In the first round of playoffs on August 24, the Thorns beat FC Kansas City 3–2 in a dramatic overtime game. A week later they beat the Western New York Flash 2–0 in the championship game to become the first NWSL Champions.The club finished in a three-way tie atop the league in the regular season standings, but by virtue of goal differential tiebreaker the club claimed the No.
After the end of the season, Cindy Parlow Cone resigned as head coach on December 5, 2013. She cited personal reasons, particularly the desire of her and her husband, Portland Timbers director of sports science John Cone (who also resigned around the same time), to be together more.
The Thorns kicked off their 2014 season with the announcement of a new head coach, Paul Riley, formerly of the Long Island Fury of the Women's Premier Soccer League.Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc was traded to the Chicago Red Stars and was replaced with 2013 FIFA World Player of the Year recipient Nadine Angerer. A new NWSL attendance record of 19,123 was set at Providence Park on August 3 in a game between Portland and Houston, breaking the previous record of 17,619 set in the same stadium in 2013. The Thorns finished third in the regular season and were knocked out in the playoff semi-final by FC Kansas City.
The Thorns made a number of roster moves in the offseason. In November 2014 the Thorns traded for defender Kat Williamson and midfielder McCall Zerboni from the Western New York Flash in exchange for midfielder Amber Brooks.Williamson appeared in 21 matches (20 starts) during the 2014 regular season for the Western New York Flash. Williamson was traded to the Flash on April 5 as part of a move that granted Portland the right to midfielder Vero Boquete. The eighth overall pick by Portland in the first round of the 2013 National Women's Soccer League College (NWSL) Draft from the University of Florida, Williamson made her professional debut with Thorns FC in 2013 and ranked second on the team in minutes (1,944) during her rookie campaign. A native of McKinney, Texas, Williamson was one of three players to start all 24 matches during the 2013 season as she helped guide Portland to the 2013 NWSL Championship. Zerboni played three professional seasons with the Western New York Flash in both the NWSL and Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), helping guide the Flash to the 2011 WPS title and the championship match of the 2013 NWSL Playoffs.
As part of the National Team player allocation process for the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), Portland Thorns received Canada Women's National Team midfielder Kaylyn Kyle and defender Rhian Wilkinson.Kyle, 26, has 89 international caps with the Canada Women's National Team. A native of Saskatoon, Sask., Kyle won a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics and competed at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup with Canada. Wilkinson, 32, has earned 152 international caps since making her senior debut with the Canada Women's National Team in 2003 at age 20. A native of Baie D’Urfe, Quebec, Wilkinson helped guide Canada to a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics and has competed in three consecutive FIFA Women's World Cups (2003, 2007, 2011).
Portland acquired defender Kendall Johnson from Sky Blue FC in exchange for the 25th and 34th overall selections in the 2015 National Women's Soccer League College Draft. A native of Portland and former University of Portland standout, Johnson, 23, appeared in 15 matches (12 starts) for Sky Blue FC during the 2014 regular season, her second season with the team.
Portland acquired forward Jodie Taylor from the Washington Spirit in exchange for a 2015 second-round pick (No. 13 overall) and two second-round picks in 2016.A standout at Oregon State, Taylor, 28, was one of the top goal scorers in the NWSL in 2014. An England international, Taylor had earned three caps with the England Women's National Team, making her debut in an international friendly against Sweden in August 2014.
Defender Nikki Marshall announced her retirement from professional soccer.Marshall retired after playing four professional seasons, including the last two with the Thorns. In her two seasons with the club, Marshall, 26, appeared in a club-record 46 consecutive regular-season matches, playing 3,943 minutes.
Portland signed international forward Genoveva Añonma.The Equatorial Guinea international was the 10th-ranked goal scorer all-time in Frauen Bundesliga history and the 2012 African Women Footballer of the Year. Añonma, who goes by Ayo, had played professionally in Germany since 2009. Añonma had appeared in 122 matches in the German league, recording 95 goals during her time with FF USV Jena and 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam.
Portland signed midfielder Sarah Robbins.Robbins appeared in 14 matches, recording three goals and seven assists, for Finnish club Åland United in 2014. The midfielder logged 1,189 minutes for the Naisten Liiga side, and competed in the qualifying round of the 2014–15 UEFA Women's Champions League.
The Thorns finished the 2015 season with 23 points from 20 games and did not reach the playoffs, the first (and to date only) season in which they have failed to do this. At the end of the season, head coach Paul Riley stepped down from the positionand former Washington Spirit head coach Mark Parsons took over as head coach for 2016.
In Parsons's first season in charge, the Thorns acquired several players including French defensive midfielder Amandine Henry and Danish striker Nadia Nadim. They placed first in the regular season with 41 points, winning the NWSL Shield. In a physical playoff semi-final, they tied Western New York 2–2 during regulation, fell behind 4–2 in overtime, and could score only one more goal to end their season with a 4–3 loss.
After a 14–5–5 league record for 47 points and a second-place finish, the Thorns defeated the Orlando Pride 4–1 in a playoff semi-final. In the championship match, Portland faced the NWSL Shield-winning North Carolina Courage, successor to the Western New York Flash team that had beaten them in the final the year before. Portland defeated the Courage at Orlando City Stadium in a physical 1–0 match to win their second NWSL championship.Following the victory, the team held a victory rally in their home stadium.
The Thorns announced that midfielder Amandine Henry and forward Nadia Nadim would not be returning to the team for the 2018 season. The moves were made for financial reasons, as the NWSL has a strict salary cap of $315,000 for each team and the Thorns could not compete with offers made by Lyon and Manchester City. [ citation needed ]On January 11, 2018, the team announced a trade that would send midfielder Allie Long to the Seattle Reign. Long had been with the team since its inaugural season, and was one of the first players to reach 100 NWSL appearances with one club. With Long's departure, Tobin Heath and Christine Sinclair would be the only remaining players from the first Thorns season. The Thorns would finish with a regular season record of 12–6–6 and match their second-place finish from the previous season. The team would defeat the Seattle Reign 2–1 in the Semi-final round and would face the shield-winning North Carolina Courage in a rematch of the previous seasons final. The Thorns would lose a lopsided 3–0 to the Courage, who became the first team to win the NWSL Shield and the NWSL Playoffs in the same season.
The team's colors were announced as red, green, and black.The team crest was designed by artist and Timbers Army member Brent Diskin. Its design features the team colors of red and white "with a protective wreath of thorns surrounding a familiar, stylized rose in the center." The design also includes a pair of four-pointed stars, or hypocycloids, that house the letters "F" and "C" and anchor the sides of the badge, and resemble the star prominent on Portland's official city flag. The team's home kit is rose red with a white stripe, while the road kit is white. The club unveiled their home and away kits on April 9, 2013. Both uniforms feature sponsorships by Providence Health & Services and Parklane Mattresses, and are made by Nike.
|Season||NWSL regular season||Position|| NWSL|
DNQ = Did not qualify
|Defender||Rachel Van Hollebeke||2013–2015||45||3||48|
|Defender||Kat Williamson||2013, 2015–2016||46||2||48|
|9||Midfielder||Dagný Brynjarsdóttir||2016–2017, 2019–||5||0||5|
The Portland Thorns play at Providence Park located in the Goose Hollow neighborhood of Portland, Oregon.Providence Park was the third-largest stadium in the NWSL, after the Boston Breakers' Harvard Stadium and the 2014 expansion Houston Dash's BBVA Compass Stadium. However, the Dash closed sections to seat only 7,000 spectators per game in 2014, and in 2015, the Breakers moved to the smaller Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium (now named Jordan Field). This made the 21,144-capacity Providence Park the largest stadium by NWSL-specific capacity until the opening of 25,500-capacity Orlando City Stadium in 2017. The Thorns also share the stadium with the Portland Timbers and the Portland State University Vikings.
Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of April 12, 2019.
As of April 2017, Thorns games are streamed exclusively by Go90 for American audiences and via the NWSL website for international viewers.For the 2017 season, the Thorns were featured in six nationally televised Lifetime NWSL Game of the Week broadcasts on April 15, April 29, July 15, August 5, August 26, and September 30, 2017.
During the 2013 season, games were streamed online and broadcast on the radio on Freedom 970 AM.
Providence Park is an outdoor sports venue in the northwest United States, located in the Goose Hollow neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. It has existed in rudimentary form since 1893, and as a complete stadium since 1926.
Christine Margaret Sinclair, OC is a Canadian soccer player and captain of the Canadian national team. She plays professionally for the Portland Thorns FC in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and previously played for FC Gold Pride and Western New York Flash in the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). A CONCACAF champion, two-time Olympic bronze medalist and 14-time winner of the Canada Soccer Player of the Year award, Sinclair is Canada's all-time leading scorer and currently second in all-time international goals scored for males or females with 182, behind Abby Wambach at 184 and also currently the most capped active international women footballer with 286 caps. She is also the second footballer of either gender to score at five World Cup editions, preceded by Marta.
Cynthia "Cindy" Marie Parlow Cone, née Cynthia Parlow, is the former head coach for Portland Thorns FC in the National Women's Soccer League, and a retired American professional soccer player, two-time Olympic Gold medalist, and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup champion. In May 2018, the National Soccer Hall of Fame announced Parlow will be inducted into the Hall.
Tobin Powell Heath is an American professional soccer player. She currently plays professionally for Portland Thorns FC of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and the United States women's national soccer team. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a two-time FIFA Women's World Cup winner with the United States women's national soccer team. She has also won two NWSL Championships with the Portland Thorns. Heath is described as "perhaps the USA's most skillful player" by the United States Soccer Federation, and she was voted the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 2016. Heath usually plays as a forward or an attacking midfielder and primarily on the right side. She was the first overall pick in Women's Professional Soccer 2010 draft. Heath's career started with the New Jersey Wildcats in 2004–05, Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues in 2007 and Pali Blues in 2009. Her college career was with the North Carolina Tar Heels between 2006 and 2009 coinciding with her time on the Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues. Her professional career began in the Women's Professional Soccer league, spending one season (2010) with Atlanta Beat, one season with Sky Blue FC (2011) and one season with the New York Fury until the Women's Professional Soccer league folded in 2012. She played in France with Paris Saint-Germain for the 2013–14 season before moving on to her current club, Portland Thorns FC, when the NWSL was established.
Rebecca Edwards is an American soccer player who played for Swedish club Kristianstads DFF in the Damallsvenskan. She previously played for Orlando Pride, Houston Dash, Portland Thorns, and Western New York Flash in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) as well as FC Gold Pride and the championship-winning Western New York Flash in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS).
Jessica Marie McDonald is an American professional soccer forward who currently plays for the North Carolina Courage of the National Women's Soccer League and is a member of the United States women's national soccer team. She previously played for the Australian W-League team Melbourne Victory as well as the Western New York Flash, Chicago Red Stars, Seattle Reign FC, Portland Thorns FC and Houston Dash.
The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is a professional women's soccer league owned by the teams, and under a management contract with the United States Soccer Federation. At the top of the United States league system, it represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The NWSL was established in 2012 as a successor to Women's Professional Soccer (2007–2012), which was itself the successor to Women's United Soccer Association (2001–2003). The league began play in 2013 with eight teams, four of which were former members of Women's Professional Soccer. With the addition of three expansion teams in Houston (2014), Orlando (2016), Salt Lake City (2018) and the loss of FC Kansas City and Boston Breakers, it now has nine teams throughout the United States.
The 2013 National Women's Soccer League season was the inaugural season of the National Women's Soccer League, the top division of women's soccer in the United States. Including the NWSL's two professional predecessors, Women's Professional Soccer (2009–2011) and the Women's United Soccer Association (2001–2003), this was the seventh overall season of FIFA and USSF-sanctioned top division women's soccer in the United States. The league was operated by the United States Soccer Federation and receives major financial backing from that body. Further financial backing was provided by the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Federation. All three national federations paid the league salaries of many of their respective national team members in an effort to nurture talent in those nations.
Courtney Wetzel is an American soccer midfielder. She played for the Western New York Flash and Portland Thorns FC of the NWSL, and the Ottawa Fury Women and Seattle Sounders Women in the W-League.
Danielle Foxhoven is an American college soccer coach and retired professional soccer forward. She most recently played for Seattle Reign FC of the National Women's Soccer League and previously played for Portland Thorns FC as well as Russian side, FC Energy Voronezh.
Meleana "Mana" Shim is an American soccer midfielder who plays for the Houston Dash of the National Women's Soccer League. She spent most of her senior career with Portland Thorns FC, also of the NWSL.
Hayley Emma Raso is an Australian soccer player, currently playing as a winger for Portland Thorns FC. She has also represented Australia since 2012, as well as playing for the under-20 side.
Casey Ramirez is an American soccer defender who most recently played for the Portland Thorns FC of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). She previously played for Fortuna Hjørring in Denmark's Elitedivisionen.
Meagan Alexandra Morris is an American soccer player from Montclair, New Jersey who played for Portland Thorns FC of the NWSL. Morris was a member of the United States under-20 women's national soccer team, and plays the position of midfielder.
Courtney Niemiec is a retired American soccer player who last played for the North Carolina Courage of the National Women's Soccer League.
The 2015 season is the Portland Thorns FC's third season of existence in the National Women's Soccer League, the top division of women's soccer in the United States.
The 2017 Portland Thorns FC season was the team's and the league's fifth season of existence. The Thorns played in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), the top division of women's soccer in the United States. The Thorns had finished in first place in the 2016 season, but failed to advance from the semifinals in the 2016 NWSL playoffs. With a slogan of "Unfinished Business", they qualified for the NWSL playoffs as the 2nd ranked team in the 2017 regular season. In the playoffs, they defeated the Orlando Pride and then the North Carolina Courage to become 2017 NWSL Champions. It was their second championship, following the first in 2013.
Margaret "Midge" Purce is an American soccer player who plays as a forward for Portland Thorns FC in the National Women's Soccer League. She previously played with the Boston Breakers in 2017 and for the Harvard Crimson in 2013–2016.
The 2018 Portland Thorns FC season is the team's and the league's sixth season of existence. The Thorns play in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), the top division of women's soccer in the United States. The Thorns are coming into the season as reigning NWSL Champions.
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