Christine Sinclair, Thorns @ FC KC, 4.13.13
(USA Today Sports)

Christine Sinclair penalty kick leads Thorns FC to 1-1 draw against FC Kansas City

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair converted a second-half penalty kick to help lead Thorns FC to a come-from-behind 1-1 draw in front of sold-out crowd of 6,784 fans at Shawnee Mission District Stadium on Saturday night in the inaugural match of the National Women’s Soccer League.

Trailing 1-0, Thorns FC midfielder Allie Long threaded a short pass to second-half substitute Danielle Foxhoven at the top of the penalty box as the former University of Portland forward darted into the area. Foxhoven, who entered the match as a 63rd-minute substitute, was fouled in the penalty box by Canada Women’s National Team defender Lauren Sesselmann in the 66th minute.

Sinclair, who has tallied 145 goals in her career for the Canada Women’s National Team, stepped up and converted the penalty kick with a hard shot to the low right side, recording the first goal in Portland’s NWSL history in the 67th minute. 

Sinclair recorded a team-high two shots on goal, forward Alex Morgan attempted a team-high three shots (1 on goal) and goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc made two saves in the draw. The sides finished level at eight shots apiece, with Thorns FC holding a 4-3 advantage on goal.

FC Kansas City opened the scoring just minutes following the opening kickoff as Mexico Women’s National Team forward Renae Cuellar controlled a long pass from the left side and slotted a low drive inside the left post to put Kansas City ahead early. Cuellar’s third-minute tally marked the first goal in NWSL history.

Pressing for a first-half equalizer, Sinclair registered Portland’s first shot on goal with a strong drive 25 yards from goal, forcing FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart to make a diving save 20 minutes into the match. 

Portland returns to the Rose City for the team’s inaugural home match on Sunday, April 21, against Seattle Reign FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. (Pacific) and the game will be broadcast on Freedom 970 AM with a high-definition web stream available at


  • FC Kansas City forward Renae Cuellar tallied the first goal in NWSL history in the 3rd minute.
  • Sinclair recorded the first shot on goal in Thorns FC history in the 20th minute and the team’s first goal in the 67th minute
  • Kristie Mewis earned the first yellow card in league history in the 43rd minute, while forward Nikki Washington was issued the first caution in Thorns FC history in the 70th minute.

Portland Thorns FC (0-0-1, 1pts) at FC Kansas City (0-0-1, 1pts)
April 13, 2013 – Shawnee Mission District Stadium (Overland Park, Kan.)

Goals by Half              1          2          F
KC                                1          0          1
POR                             0          1          1

Scoring Summary
KC – Cuellar (Mewis)                         3rd minute
POR – Sinclair (penalty kick)             67

Misconduct Summary
KC – Mewis (caution)                           43
POR – Washington (caution)              70
POR – Williamson (caution)               82

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Karina LeBlanc; D Marian Dougherty, D Rachel Buehler, D Kathryn Williamson, D Nikki Marshall (Emilee O’Neil, 61); M Becky Edwards, M Allie Long, M Angie Kerr (Danielle Foxhoven, 64); F Nikki Washington (Courtney Wetzel, 90), F Christine Sinclair (capt.), F Alex Morgan

Substitutes Not Used: GK Adelaide Gay, M Meleana Shim

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Morgan, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Sinclair, 2); FOULS: 13 (Long, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2

KC: GK Nicole Barnhart; D Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), D Leigh Ann Robinson, D Lauren Sesselmann, D, Jen Buczkowski; M Casey Loyd (Courtney Jones, 72), M Merritt Mathias (Katie Kelly, 77), M Desiree Scott, M Kristie Mewis (Erika Tymrak, 81), M Lauren Cheney (capt.); F Renae Cuellar

Substitutes Not Used: GK Bianca Henninger, D Nia Williams, F Melissa Henderson

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Two players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three tied with 1); FOULS: 11 (Two players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3

Referee: Kari Seitz
Assistant Referees: Kathryn Nesbitt, Kyle Atkins
Fourth Official: Jon Freemon
Attendance: 6,784
Weather: 64 degrees, partly cloudy

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial