Thorns FC

Int'l Roundup | Thorns on tour with their national teams

9 Portland Thorns FC players had national team participations during the international break, the second-most in the NWSL.

The Portland Thorns have been on a bit of a hiatus, forced to break in competition due to the international window, and while there were no club matches this past weekend, some of the team’s players reached new heights with their national teams.

With nine players away on international duty, the Thorns had the second-most players named to national team rosters, just one shy of matching San Diego who led the way with 10. The Thorns could be seen representing their respective countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Denmark and Mexico.

Sam, Sophia and Liv Lift Another Trophy

Just a few weeks after the trio of Sam Coffey, Sophia Smith and Olivia Moultrie helped the United States win the first-ever Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, they did it again, this time lifting the SheBelieves cup for a fifth-consecutive time and seventh overall for the Red, White and Blue.

Coffey started both matches for the United States, going 78 minutes against Japan, while also providing a beautiful assist to set up Jayden Shaw for the opening goal of the match. Smith came on as a second-half substitute, helping the squad achieve the 2-1 victory to advance to the final against Canada.

Coffey and Smith both started in the final against Canada, but this time it was Smith who led the way offensively, securing a brace in the 2-2 draw. Her two goals saw the match forced into penalty kicks, during which Smith confidently placed her kick from the penalty spot into the back of the net. Smith’s brace marked the sixth time in her 46 appearances that she has recorded a multi-goal game, becoming just the second player ever to achieve such a milestone in under 50 matches.

Beckie Returns and Fleming Leads the Way

After over a year away from international football due to an anterior cruciate ligament tear, Janine Beckie returned to the Canada National Team, starting in 1-1 draw against Brazil. Fellow Thorns’ midfielder Jessie Fleming, captain of the Canada National Team, also started against Brazil, going the full 90 minutes, while also providing the assist on Vannessa Giles' equalizing goal. Canada would eventually advance on penalties, moving on to face the United States in the final.

In the SheBelieves Cup final against the USWNT, both Beckie and Fleming started for Canada – playing 73 and 90 minutes, respectively. With the 2-2 draw, the match was forced into penalty kicks, where Fleming scored her attempt, before Canada ultimately fell to the United States.

Hina Joins up with Japan

In addition to Canada and the United States, midfielder Hina Sugita and Japan also competed in the SheBelieves Cup. Sugita played 45 minutes in the first match against the United States, eventually falling 2-1. Japan also faced Brazil, earning a 1-1 draw against the South American side, Sugita did not appear.

Thorns FC at 2024 SheBelieves Cup 

Obaze Commands Denmark’s Defense

In their quest to qualify for the 2025 UEFA Women’s Championship, Denmark faced Czech Republic and Belgium in the first round of matches within Group 2A. Isabella Obaze started and played the full 90 minutes in both matches, helping Denmark earn a 3-1 win over Czech Republic and a 4-2 win over Belgium.

With the two victories in hand, Denmark is now tied with Spain with six points a piece, but in second place due to goal differential. The two top finishers in Group 2A will automatically qualify for the 2025 UEFA Women’s Championship.

Payne Qualifies for Olympics

During her international break Nicole Payne helped Nigeria qualify for the upcoming Summer Olympics, returning to the tournament for the first time since 2008.

Nigeria earned results against South Africa to secure one of the two remaining Olympic spots, a 1-0 victory and a 0-0 draw. Should Payne make the Nigeria Olympic roster she could become one of several Thorns players to represent their national team at the summer tournament, joining her teammates from Canada, Japan and United States who have also seen their countries qualify.

Reyes Back in with Mexico

After being named to the Mexico National Team as an injury replacement, Reyna Reyes started for her country against Australia, playing the entirety of the match. Mexico also faced Colombia, but Reyes did not appear.

The Thorns are set to return to action this Saturday, April 13 at North Carolina Courage, kickoff is set for 4:00pm PT and can be streamed live on NWSL+.

The Thorns will return to Providence Park the following week, where they will host the Houston Dash on Saturday, April 20 at 7:00 pm PT.