Thorns FC

International Notebook: Smith nets a brace in USWNT homecoming, Moultrie helps win the Sud Ladies Cup & more


It has been a busy international window for Thorns FC players called up to represent their countries all over the world.

Closer to home, Portland's national team players from Canada, the United States and Costa Rica helped their nations prepare for the upcoming Concacaf W Championship. Others traveled to Europe to participate in a series of friendlies and tournaments.

From big wins to key performances, several Thorns remained in the spotlight even as the club took a break from the NWSL regular season. Here is a breakdown of everything that took place on the international stage over the past few days.

Sophia Smith highlights American's abroad with brace against Colombia in Colorado

Sophia Smith and Becky Sauerbrunn started and played 90 minutes in the U.S. Women's National Team's first of two friendlies against Colombia, showcasing the form they've constantly displayed for Portland on an international stage.

Smith, a native of Windsor, Colorado, scored two goals in front of family and friends as the U.S. kept a clean sheet in the 3-0 victory. It was Smith's third-consecutive brace across all competitions.

Sam Coffey, who received her first call-up to the senior team, didn't make the roster for the friendly in Colorado, but did for the match in Utah. However, Portland's standout rookie will have to wait for her first national team appearance.

None of Portland's three players called up to the U.S. Women's National team played in the second match against Colombia.

They next travel to Monterrey, Mexico, to play Haiti in the Concacaf W Championship on July 4 (4 p.m. PT, CBS Sports Network/Paramount+).

Janine Beckie stands out as Canada prepares for CONCACAF W Championship

Canada's only tune-up match for the Concacaf W Championship ended in a scoreless draw against South Korea in Toronto.

Christine Sinclair, who hasn't played since the Thorns' June. 8 match against San Diego, suited up but didn't play. Portland's other Canadian international, Janine Beckie, did start, played the entire match and was named Canada's Performer of the Match.

Both Beckie and Sinclair will travel to Monterrey where Canada begins the tournament with a match against Trinidad and Tobago on July 5. (7 p.m. PT, Paramount+)

Rocky Rodriguez returns to Costa Rica for a pair of friendlies

Rocky Rodriguez started and played 66 minutes In Costa Rica's 2-1 victory over Haiti on June 25.

The Thorns FC midfielder didn't play in the second friendly against Haiti, but will also travel to Monterrey to compete in the Concacaf W Championship. Their first game is against Panama on July 5 (4 p.m. PT, Paramount+)

Natalia Kuikka, Hina Sugita join Finland and Japan for matches in Europe

Hina Sugita joined Japan for two friendlies in Europe, both of which the team won in convincing fashion. Nadeshiko Japan took down Serbia 5-0 win and followed it up with a 5-1 victory against Natalia Kuikkia's Finland.

Sugita herself started and played 85 minutes against Serbia, but didn't enter the game against Finland.

While Sugita will return to Portland soon, Kuikka will remain in Europe to participate in the 2022 Women's EURO in England.

Kuikka and Finland have one more tune-up, coming against former Thorns FC coach Mark Parsons' Netherlands side on July 2 (9 a.m. PT).

Olivia Moultrie, Shelby Hogan step up for U.S. Women's Youth National Teams

Olivia Moultrie spent the international break in southern France, where she helped the U.S Women's U-20 National Team win the 2022 Sud Ladies Cup.

A steady contributor in midfield, Moultrie played a key role as the U.S. topped its group, beating France 3-1, Mexico 3-0 and the Netherlands in penalties after regulation ended in a 2-2 draw.

Elsewhere in Europe, goalkeeper Shelby Hogan joined the U.S Women's U-23 side in Sweden for the Three-Nations Tournament, which involved matches against Sweden and India. Hogan started in net and kept a clean sheen as the U.S. defeated Sweden 3-0 in the second match of the three-team tournament.