PORTLAND -- The Portland Thorns are off and running. Nearly two dozen players took the field at Jeld-Wen for day one of their very first season in the new National Women’s Soccer league Monday.
“It was great,” said head coach Cindy Parlow Cone. “It was so fun to finally get out of my office and get onto the field. It was a little bit frantic and that’s totally natural for the first day because they’re all excited to be here and a little bit nervous. But for the first day, I thought it was outstanding.”
A total of 22 players are in the camp, including former University of Portland star Danielle Foxhoven. The 23-year-old forward is fourth on UP’s all-time career scoring list with 139 points - including 57 goals. The Colorado native played last year in Russia, but said she's thrilled to be back in the Rose City.
“I feel like this is home now, “ Foxhoven said. “I’ve been here for five years now and I truly feel like this is my home. So to be able to play here is just a complete honor and so humbling to be able to play in front of these crowds and in front of the Timbers fans and just for Portland.”
Another former Portland Pilot, Christine Sinclair, is on the team as well. But she is away playing for the Canadian National team. U.S. superstar Alex Morgan and U.S. Captain Rachel Buehler are also on the Portland team. They are away with Team USA and will join the Thorns later in training.
“They’re true professionals,” said Parlow Cone, “as are these young women as well. We’ll work as quickly as we can to blend them into the team and to make them a part of our culture and environment.”
The Thorns open the season on April 13 in Kansas City. Their home opener is April 21st against Seattle at Jeld-Wen Field.