Thorns FC

13 June 1:52 pm

Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer / Portland Thorns FC

"It's an interesting challenge to create a team from nothing," Parlow Cone said. "In my previous experiences, we always had a core. In college, you lost the seniors and gained the freshmen, but you always had a core group and you built around them. Here, we had none of that."

espnW continues their Total Access series with a story about how  USWNT legend Cindy Parlow Cone made the decision to leave her post as an assistant coach at her alma mater University of North Carolina and travel across the country to helm Portland Thorns FC in the nascent National Women's Soccer League. Drawing upon her years of experience in the game at various forms and roles, Cone has quickly put together a winning roster.

Read it here. 

13 June 1:46 pm

In Portland we do things a little different: the people, the soccer, the beer, and now the fish and chips. This Saturday and Sunday, you can experience all it together at JELD-WEN Field.

The Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance is proud to welcome Pirates Fish and Chips to JELD-WEN Field for the Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas on Saturday (2pm PT, ESPN, 750 The Game / La Pantera 940), and Portland Thorns FC vs. Seattle Reign FC on Sunday (2pm PT, TICKETS, webstream, Freedom 970.

Based in Hood River, OR, Pirates Fish and Chips was opened in 2012 by restaurateurs Richard and Sherri Wilson. The couple owned and operated an Italian restaurant in Arizona, but the long hours and struggling economy led them to sell their business and relocate to Oregon.

After discovering the Portland food cart craze, but struggling to find fish and chips one night, Richard and Sherri decided it was time to do it themselves. Their fish and chips are made from fresh fish sourced from the coast that includes cod, halibut, albacore tuna, and rockfish, served with house made tartar sauce and a batter that never leaves your hands greasy.

Richard and Sherri say that serving at JELD-WEN Field this weekend is the greatest opportunity they’ve had thus far. They know it will be a lot of work, but they are looking forward to sharing their culinary creations with 20,000 fans.

As of right now, Pirates Fish and Chips only has one location in Hood River, Oregon, but Richard and Sherri say they are in the process of opening a second truck in Portland later this season. For now, however, fans can get a sneak peek at Pirates Fish and Chips this Saturday and Sunday at the Soccer City Grill above Section 93.

The menu for Saturday and Sunday will include:

2PC Fish & Chips Basket
2 pieces of fresh Pacific True Cod served with house made tarter sauce, fresh natural cut fries and pirates magic coleslaw

Grilled Salmon Burger & Fries
4oz of Fresh Grilled Salmon on a toasted bun served with fresh natural cut fries &
 house made tarter sauce and topped with pirates magic coleslaw

06 June 2:42 pm

"There are more than a few cities in the country where people love soccer but they're not selling out every game. Clearly, [Portland is] the flagship team in the league,"  - Sunil Gulati, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation.

In a look into the success of the Portland Thorns as a new franchise in a new National Women's Soccer League, espnW's Melissa Isaacson takes a closer look into the buzz and growth of the new club and its impact on the American soccer landscape.

Read it here.

Soccer City, U.S.A. indeed.

05 June 2:44 pm

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Continuing the new tradition of the presentation of roses following Thorns games to the goal scorers and goalkeeper who achieved a shutout, Girls, Inc. has been sending participants from their great youth programs to meet players after the game and hand them the roses in front of the North End supporters. For an organization that looks to inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold, it's truly a special moment after the match.

June 1, 2013 vs. Chicago Red Stars

Ani is a 6th grader who attends St. Clare Elementary.

How would you like to help other girls feel Strong, Smart and Bold?
Ani:  I would like to help girls realize that they are just as strong, smart and bold as boys. I think that it is important for girls to have the same opportunities as boys, like an education. Here in the United States girls can go to school and get an education, but it isn’t that way everywhere. I would like to try to make a difference for girls that live in other countries that don’t have the same opportunities for education.

Tell us about today
A:  It was really cool watching the girls play. It was my first Thorns game. When we were walking here I was getting all nervous. But once the game got started I was really amazed by at how big it was, how many people and what the women were doing down on the field.

What makes your strong, smart and bold?
A:  Something that makes me strong is that I listen to my inside voice. Something that makes me bold is that I’m not afraid to tell other kids if they are being mean. If someone is not being respectful to another kid I tell them to stop – in a way that is not completely rude about it. I just get the point across that they are doing something that is wrong.

What was your favorite part about today?
A;  Probably watching them warm up and practice. I also like watching them head it – they are so fast. 

23 May 3:15 pm

The U.S. Soccer Federation is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and has often highlighted various important moments through out its history.

Yesterday, fourteen years ago, Portland Thorns FC head coach Cindy Parlow Cone - then just Cindy Parlow -helped make history providing the key assist to fellow U.S. Women's National Team legend Mia Hamm on her 108th career international goal in a friendly against Brazil. That strike put Hamm atop the list for most international goals scored by any male or female player in history.

Hamm went on to score 158 goals in 275 total caps. Cone, no slouch herself, bagged 75 goals in 175 career caps. 

Current Western New York Flash forward Abby Wambach is closing in on Hamm's record though. She sits at 155. Portland's Alex Morgan, still only 23, has 42, and Christine Sinclair is third on the all-time list with 145 goals.

21 May 4:29 pm

Continuing the new tradition of the presentation of roses following Thorns games to the goal scorers and goalkeeper who achieved a shutout, Girls, Inc. has been sending participants from their great youth programs to meet players after the game and hand them the roses in front of the North End supporters. For an organization that looks to inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold, it's truly a special moment after the match.

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

May 16 vs. Sky Blue FC

What was your favorite part about today?
A:  We got to watch the Thorns game and it was really fun to meet all the players and see so many people here to watch them.  

Tell us an example of you being strong and smart?
A:  I brought flyers for the arts and music for school and handed them out to different neighborhoods and it’s hard because you have to answer their questions.

What was your favorite part about today?
V:  The best part was Alex Morgan, giving us hugs and it made me really happy because she’s my favorite player on the team. I feel that being strong in sports is good for girls.

Tell us an example of you being strong and smart?
V:  At my old school I was being bullied so I switched school and I felt a lot better after that.

What was your favorite part about today?

The best thing about tonight was meeting Alex Morgan and all the other players and when the head coach gave me a scarf. I play forward and really like Nikki Washington and Alex Morgan.

Tell us an example of you being strong and smart?
It’s important to be a good sport and shake people’s hands after the game even when you lose.


Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

May 19 vs. Washington Spirit

Marilyn Danley
What was your favorite part about today?
M:  This was my first Thorns game. My favorite part of the day was the game because it was so exciting and we got to sit so close.

What was special about presenting the roses?
M:  Since Alex and Christine scored I got to give them roses. It was really special presenting the roses because I got to meet the player who are really nice and it was fun. This will be a very special memory

What makes you strong, smart and bold?
M:  I am strong, smart and bold because I really like sports. I love to play soccer.

What do you like most about playing soccer?
M:  What I like most about soccer is that you get to use your head, in both ways. You also get to hang out with friends and it takes a lot of team work.

Isabella Ventura
What was your favorite part about today?
I:  My favorite part about today was getting the chance to come out on the field and meet the players.

What was special about presenting the roses?
I:  Karina didn’t let any goals in so I got to give her the flowers. It was so cool because I got to be close and see them.

What makes you strong, smart and bold?
I:  I am strong, smart and bold because I get to be a voice for girls.

What do you like most about playing soccer?
I:  My favorite part about playing soccer is that we get to play and the people cheer us on – just like we cheered on the Thorns today.

25 April 2:01 pm

Special thanks to for image

In a summer packed with Portland Timbers matches, Portland Thorns FC matches and the CONCACAF Gold Cup coming to town, there’s no shortage of the beautiful game to be found in Soccer City, USA.

Grant Wahl knows this as well as anybody, which is why he came to town to see the Portland's 2-1 home opener win against Seattle Reign FC as part of a larger story for Sports Illustrated on the Thorns' Alex Morgan.

Wahl, a longtime college basketball and soccer writer for SI, really made his mark in 2009 with his excellent book, The Beckham Experiment: How the World's Most Famous Athlete Tried to Conquer America. Written in near real-time during the MLS season, it was an in-depth look not only into Beckham’s arrival with the LA Galaxy but also an inside look into Major League Soccer as a whole entity.

Since the book, Wahl has covered World Cups and international soccer along with a bid for for the FIFA presidency on a platform of more transparency. Through it all, he has continued to tell insightful stories across the soccer universe.

I sat down with him to talk about his impressions of the Thorns home opener, where MLS is at now near four years past his book and the importance of this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup to the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The Backcut Podcast sits at the intersection of Timbers, Thorns, soccer & culture to explore the unique elements of the beautiful game. You can subscribe to The Backcut on iTunes in the same feed as the Talk Timbers podcast.

23 April 3:12 pm

Sunday's Portland Thorns FC home opener was memorable for many reasons.

There was the 2-1 win over the Seattle Reign FC

There was the record setting 16,479 crowd in attendance.

There was the goals by Marian Dougherty and Alex Morgan.

And then, of course, there was THE HAIR. Hear goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc talk about her special edition 'do for the first ever Thorns home opener:

Want more Karina LeBlanc? Vancouver B.C.'s The Province, fresh from their great profile of fellow Canadian Christine Sinclair, does an excellent feature on LeBlanc's arrival in Portland and her deep commitment to the UNICEF Sports Ambassador program. Read it here.

23 April 11:38 am

Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Thorns FC

Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair is The Equalizer’s National Women’s Soccer League Week 2 Player of the Week as voted on by the editors of the site.

The former University of Portland star and current Canadian national teamer earned a point on Sunday after she played a sensational ball to forward Alex Morgan, who netted the game-winning goal in the 52nd minute of a 2-1 win over Seattle Reign FC.

When asked about her role as more of an attacking midfielder against Seattle, Sinclair told The Equalizer, "It was an adjustment on my part; more feeding the forwards instead of being the one receiving the ball."

Sinclair, who scored Thorns FC first franchise goal in the season opener at Kansas City, now leads the NWSL in points (3).

For the full story, visit The Equalizer.

21 April 12:53 pm


Soccer City USA. This isn’t a home away from home for Christine Sinclair.
This is home.
Sorry, B.C. Sorry, Canada. She loves you. She’s gone through walls for you, and will again. But …
“It’s home,” Sinclair said from JELD-WEN Field, where the Portland Thorns host the Seattle Reign on Sunday, “because home in Vancouver is my brother’s extra bedroom.”
So begins the excellent profile in B.C.-based The Province of Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair. Following her history of growing up in Canada, coming to Portland to play for the late Clive Charles and University of Portland as well as her NASL Timbers connections via her uncles Brian and Bruce Gant, the piece is a great tablesetter for today's home opener.