Thorns Training Update: Team welcomes Sam Gordon to practice

Thorns prepare for Seattle while also working with youth football & soccer star

Portland Thorns FC, fresh from their 2-0 win over the Washington Spirit on Sunday, returned to training this week with an eye towards preparing for Seattle Reign FC on Saturday in Tukwila, WA.

Both head coach Cindy Parlow Cone and the team are eager to play in a growing Northwest rivalry game and spirits were high at practice.

However, Wednesday's session also brought with it a unique training partner: Sam Gordon.

Gordon made headlines last summer when her father uploaded a simple video to YouTube of his daughter playing in a pee wee football game--that's American football--whereupon the agile running back torched the opposing team, flying up and down the field. Playing against boys much larger than her, Sam ran for 1,911 yards and 35 touchdowns during her 2012 season. She was nine. The video spread like wildfire with over two million views, invitations to Good Morning America, meetings with NFL players and more. The story of a young, bold girl athlete inspired girls across the country even landed her as the first female football player to grace the cover of a Wheaties box.

Despite all that, Gordon's favorite sport turns out to be the "other" football: soccer. Last fall, Abby Wambach invited her to train with the USWNT and on Wednesday while at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton for a special company event, the budding soccer star was invited by Thorns forward Alex Morgan to train with the full Portland squad.

Needless to say, Cone was impressed, joking that the team was going to sign her as a Discovery Player. Gordon smiled throughout and took it all in stride.

"Soccer is my favorite sport and I hope that one day I can go play soccer for the U.S. Women's National Team or maybe play for a team like this," she said.