Thorns FC International Notebook: Portland players take to the field for U.S., Canada WNT's during October
It was a busy month of October for a few Thorns FC players as the United States Women’s National Team contested three international friendlies and the Canada Women’s National Team had its first international match since the conclusion of the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League season.
Thorns FC defender Rachel Buehler and forward Alex Morgan were called into training camp with the U.S. Women’s National Team for matches against Australia (Oct. 20), and a pair of games against New Zealand (Oct. 27 and 30).
Morgan earned the starting nod from head coach Tom Sermanni against Australia at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Playing the full 90 minutes, Morgan didn’t get on the score sheet, but did play a role in the team’s final goal in a 4-0 win before 19,109 fans. In the first minute of second-half stoppage time, Boston Breakers midfielder Heather O’Reilly raced down the left side and delivered a low cross into the penalty box. Morgan, who could’ve tried to turn the ball on frame, elected to dummy it through her legs which allowed forward Christen Press an open look for the final goal.
Buehler entered the match as a substitute in the 57th minute and helped the U.S. keep a clean sheet against Australia.
Unfortunately, Morgan sustained an ankle injury during training before the team’s game against New Zealand on Oct. 27. Buehler, however, started at center back and played the full 90 minutes in a 4-1 win over New Zealand on Oct. 27 before 16,315 fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Buehler then played the second half of a 1-1 draw against New Zealand on Oct. 30 in front of 15,139 fans at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
The Americans weren’t the only players in action as the forward Christine Sinclair and goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc joined the Canada Women’s National Team for training camp in preparation for an international friendly against South Korea on Oct. 30.
Sinclair, who started the match and played 90 minutes, put Canada up 1-0 in the first half with a delightful header inside the far left post in the 23rd minute. The goal, which came off a corner kick from Washington Spirit forward Diana Matheson, was Sinclair’s 146th career international goal.
Canada cruised to a 3-0 win on goals by Sinclair, Brittany Tomko and Adriana Leon before 12,746 fans at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. Thorns FC goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc did not see action against South Korea.
Canada is back in action on Nov. 24 as they play host to Mexico at BC Place in Vancouver. The U.S. Women’s National Team squares off against Brazil on Nov. 10 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.