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Portland Thorns FC Details
In 2012, U.S. Soccer announced the formation of a new, eight-team professional women’s soccer league and Portland Thorns FC as one of the founding clubs in the new league, which began play in 2013. Since the league’s inception, Thorns FC have won two NWSL Championships (2013, 2017) and an NWSL Shield (2016), while leading the league in attendance in each of the club’s first six seasons as the best-attended women’s professional sports team in the world.
Portland won the NWSL Championship in the team’s inaugural season in 2013, earning a third-place finish during the regular season. Thorns FC defeated FC Kansas City 3-2 in the NWSL semifinal round and advanced to face regular-season champion Western New York Flash on the road in the first NWSL Championship. Tobin Heath and Christine Sinclair each scored to clinch a 2-0 victory in the championship match. Heath was named the NWSL Championship MVP.
The club’s success continued over the next five seasons. Thorns FC won the 2016 NWSL Shield as the league’s best team in the regular season. Portland reached the semifinal round of the playoffs, but was defeated by the Western New York Flash 4-3. Portland continued its strong form in 2017, placing second in the regular season. The team defeated the Orlando Pride 4-1 in the semifinals, setting up a meeting with the North Carolina Courage in the 2017 NWSL Championship. Championship MVP Lindsey Horan scored the lone goal in Portland’s 1-0 victory over the Courage.
The 2018 NWSL season was similar to 2017 with Portland Thorns FC finishing second in the regular season. The club played host to the 2018 NWSL Championship final, playing in front of a record-setting, sold-out crowd of 21,144 fans at Providence Park with the Courage recording a 3-0 win in the match. Despite the loss, Portland took home several awards as Lindsey Horan was named NWSL MVP and Adrianna Franch was named NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year.
Portland’s reputation as an American soccer haven has attracted top national and international players during the club’s six seasons. U.S. Women’s National Team members Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Allie Long and Alex Morgan helped the club to success. Thorns FC also attracted international stars like Canada’s Christine Sinclair, France’s Amandine Henry and Denmark’s Nadia Nadim.
Thorns FC play their home matches at Providence Park, a downtown stadium first built in 1926 and relaunched in 2019 following an $85 million transformation.
Portland Thorns FC Schedule
The NWSL regular season begins on April 13, 2019. The final matches of the regular season take place on October 13, 2019. The NWSL Championship takes place on October 26, 2019.
Portland Thorns FC Rivals
Portland Thorns FC have maintained a rivalry with Tacoma-based Reign FC since the league’s first season in 2013. Portland and the North Carolina Courage also developed a rivalry after back-to-back championship matches in 2017 and 2018.