The Thorns Soccer Diaspora: All They Are Is Dust in the Wind
Editor’s note: This differs from the print version of this story. Our April issue went to press before closures and postponements due to the coronavirus had begun.
When the Portland Thorns open their next season in the National Women’s Soccer League at Providence Park (the planned first game, April 18 against the Utah Royals, has been postponed, with the season starting in late June at the earliest), fans will note some missing faces from last year’s squad. As we welcome US national team defender Becky Sauerbrunn, Costa Rican national Rocky Rodriguez, and college draftees Sophia Smith (Stanford), Morgan Weaver (Washington State), and Meaghan Nally (Georgetown), here’s a snapshot of the goodbyes.*
The US national team defender was traded to Orlando Pride.
The rising star was traded to Sky Blue FC.
The Brazilian is going home to play for São Paolo’s SC Corinthians Paulista.
The defender was traded to the Utah Royals.
The Aussie signed with Arsenal in London.
Foord’s fellow Matilda has joined England’s Everton in Liverpool.
The Swiss national joined FC Barcelona Femení this winter.
A Thorn since 2016, she’s returning to Iceland after taking 2018 off for the birth of her son. She had this to say on Instagram: “Sadly, women’s soccer isn’t there yet when it comes to integrating professional life and family life.... Travel wise, I cannot be a professional player and a national team player and be gone away from my son for 4 months during the season. Bitterly, I cannot afford to take him with me on all trips.”
*There may be more arrivals and departures after press time. These offseason changes followed farewells last May to Mallory Weber and Ifeoma Onumonu, who were waived by the Thorns and played most of last season with the Utah Royals and Tacoma’s Reign FC, respectively.