Kendall Johnson's Portland roots run deep.
The Thorns FC midfielder attended Lincoln High School, just kitty-corner from Providence Park. Johnson then went on to play three seasons for the University of Porltand Pilots, appearing in 56 career matches and guiding the team to the NCAA tournament in 2009, 2010, and 2012.
But growing up in Soccer City, U.S.A. had other perks as well.
In 2003, Portland was one of six host cities for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup and Johnson, then 12 years old, was at Providence Park to watch the U.S. National Team take on Germany in the Semi-Finals.
"Growing up, I idolized all the National Team players," Johnson remembers. "Getting to see them play in my own hometown at the World Cup was a very special experience that I'll never forget."
She even had a memorable encounter with a U.S. National Team legend.
"After one game Brandi Chastain high-fived me," she says. "I didn't wash that hand for a week."