PORTLAND -- Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish read the Mayor's proclamation during Wednesday's City Council meeting: April 10, 2013 would officially be a day of recognition of the Portland Thorns of the new woman's professional soccer league.

Mayor Charlie Hales said he understands what a women's team could ultimately mean to a city filled with young girls who play soccer.

Now that there's a path from that first kick and chase all the way to professional league for both men and women is a great day for Oregon and Portland, and for sport, Hales said.

The league, which will be subsidized in part by USA Soccer, got it right, too. By assigning as many players as possible to cities where a connection already exists, a way to reel in fans has been built in even before the first goal is scored.

Fans of the University of Portland Pilots won't ever forget Danielle Foxhoven and Christine Sinclair, and they haven't forgotten what it's like to play in Soccer City USA, either.

To come back here and play for the people that I love and the city that I love and in my home, it's beyond words, said Foxhoven.

Sinclair, who left as the Pilots all time leading goal scorer echoed those sentiments, saying, I consider this place home, and it's the one place in this league I wanted to play.

The Thorns recently played the Pilots in a pre-season match on the Portland campus, yet it seemed like a very neutral site.

I think the fans were confused about who to cheer for because they were cheering for both teams, joked head coach Cindy Parlow-Cone.

That's because, like Portland's mayor, the fans here seem to get that this is going to be more about the game and the players than the results of the games. That's sport at its purest form and it all starts on Saturday April 13th.

Their day of recognition is about to become several days' worth.

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