After winning the 2017 NWSL Championship the Portland Thorns are looking to defend their title. Compared to other teams in the league, the Thorns had a relatively quiet off-season with only a few trades taking place. With the start of the 2018 season just days away the Thorns announced a 21 player roster.
There is nothing new in the goalkeeper side of things. Adrianna Franch is returning the to Thorns after a stellar season that earned her NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year. Returning with her will be Britt Eckerstorm for her second season with Thorns. It is more than likely Franch will keep the No. 1 spot while Eckerstorm will be her back-up. There however is one difference from the roster the Thorns first announced back in February. Bella Geist was selected in the 2018 NWSL College Draft from Oregon State. During the Thorns Spring Invitational Geist played but played for the U-23 US Women's National Team. With this being said, Geist was left off of the final roster.
The Thorns are welcoming back all four of their defenders from last year. The strong backline of Emily Sonnett, Emily Menges, Katherine Reynolds and Meghan Klingenberg will be returning for some more clean sheets. Portland will also be adding three more defenders for the roster heading into the season. Australian international Ellie Carpenter will be joining the Thorns in the Rose City this season. Joining her will be Midge Purce who was selected in the Boston Breakers Dispersal Draft and Elizabeth Ball who is a non roster invite. Other non roster invites who were left off of the final roster include Tina De Zeeuw and Kelli Hubly. Gabby Seiler who was selected from Florida University in the draft was also left off mostly due to the fact she has been recovering from an injury.
Three midfielders will be returning to Portland this season including Tobin Heath, Lindsay Horan and Celeste Boureille. Some noticeable changes from last season would be the departures of Allie Long, Amandine Henry, Kendall Johnson and Dagný Brynjarsdóttir. The Thorns will welcome Brazil international Andressinha and Angela Salem who was selected in the Dispersal Draft from Boston. Ashley Herdon was a non roster invite who was on the original roster but was left off of this one. Draft pick Sandra Yu was also left off of this roster as of now as she finishes her studies at Notre Dame and is said to join the team later in the season.
The forwards are the ones that remained mostly the same. They will return five players from last years season. These players include Hayley Raso, Christine Sinclair, Mallory Weber, Meg Morris and Tyler Lussi. The Thorns lost Nadia Nadim due to the fact that she opted to play with Manchester City this season. Ashleigh Sykes will also not be returning as she announced her retirement during the offseason. The other forward not returning from last year is Savannah Jordan, who was traded to the Houston Dash in return from Andressinha. Portland will only add two forwards to their roster. These players are Caitlin Foord and Ifeoma Onumonu. Only two non roster invites were left off of the final roster and these players were Simone Charley and Bobbi Eckler.
Full Roster and Key
GOALKEEPERS (2): Britt Eckerstrom, Adrianna Franch
DEFENDERS (7): Elizabeth Ball, Ellie Carpenter (INTL-AUS, PEN), Meghan Klingenberg, Emily Menges, Midge Purce (DD), Katherine Reynolds, Emily Sonnett (FED-USA)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Andressinha (INTL-BRA, PEN), Celeste Boureille, Tobin Heath (FED-USA), Lindsey Horan (FED-USA), Angela Salem (DD)
FORWARDS (7): Caitlin Foord (INTL-AUS, PEN), Tyler Lussi, Meg Morris, Ifeoma Onumonu (DD), Hayley Raso (INTL-AUS, PEN), Christine Sinclair (FED-CAN), Mallory Weber
FED – Federation Player
INTL – International Roster Spot
ROSTERED PLAYERS NOT COUNTED AGAINST ACTIVE LIMIT:
D45 (45-Day Disabled List)- Player on the 45-Day disabled list
LOA (Loan)- Player is loaned out to another club
PEN (Pending)- Player will join club on a future date
DD (Dispersal Draft)- Contracted players acquired via the Dispersal Draft