Portland Thorns FC to sign Ellie Carpenter

The Oregononian/OregonianLive reported on Thursday morning that the Portland Thorns have signed 17-year-old Australian defender Ellie Carpenter for the 2018 National Women's Soccer League season.

The international is expected to join the NWSL side this summer.

The 17-year-old has already made a name for herself in the professional game, both at club and international level. She is often seen as a rising defender on the Australia Women's National Team. She made her first debut on the international stage in 2016 in the 2015-16 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament. This appearance made Carpenter the first player ever born in the 21st century to represent an Australia on the senior team, for both men's and women's sides. Since then, she's scored one goal in 13 appearances for the Matildas. The same year she debuted, Carpenter was the youngest player on Australia's 2016 Rio Olympics roster.

The defender began her professional career in 2015 at only 15 years old when she joined the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Westfield W-League. She played for the Wanderers until 2017, where she joined Canberra United and has been representing Canberra ever since.

Aside from being mainly known as a defender, Carpenter has played in various positions in defense and the midfield. She is most prominently known as a right outside back, though she's often been seen this season as a midfielder with Canberra United.

Carpenter hails from Cowra, New South Wales, where she was raised on a farm. Growing up, she often made very long trips to play in Young, Canberra and Sydney. At 11 years old, her family moved to Sydney so Carpenter could attend Westfields Sports High School.

The speculation of the young defender's signing over the past few days. This came from Thorns owner Merritt Paulson tweeting about her twice in the past week.