2022_IntlCallUps-Web_v2

During the April FIFA window, a total of six Portland Thorns FC players will be away training and competing with their respective national teams. Below provides a breakdown of who is where and what matches they have on the schedule over the next few weeks.

UNITED STATES

The USWNT travels East for a pair of international friendlies against Uzbekistan in Columbus, Ohio, and Chester, Pa., in the first-ever matches between the two countries.

WHO: Forward Sophia Smith (16 caps), Goalkeeper Bella Bixby (0 caps)

MATCH INFO:

  • Saturday, April 9, at 2:30 p.m. (Pacific) on FOX
  • Tuesday, April 12, at 4 p.m. (Pacific) on ESPN2

NOTES: This marks Bixby’s second call up to the USWNT. She joined the squad when they traveled to Australia during the November FIFA window but did not appear in any matches. She is one of three players looking for their first cap with the United States. Smith has started and played in all three matches for the USWNT in 2022, helping the team secure the SheBelieves Cup in February, and enters this week with 13 caps and one goal.

CANADA

The reigning Olympic gold medalists continue their Celebration Tour as they play host to Nigeria for a pair of matches in Vancouver, B.C., and on Vancouver Island.

WHO: Forward Christine Sinclair, forward Janine Beckie

MATCH INFO:

  • Friday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
  • Monday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)

NOTES: The first match in Vancouver will celebrate Sinclair’s world international goalscoring record in front of her hometown crowd. This celebration was originally planned for April 2020, but postponed on account of the global pandemic. Canada returns home following a trip to England in February to participate in the Arnold Cup. In that tournament, Beckie - the Thorns' newest signing - started all three matches, tallying a goal and an assist.

COSTA RICA

WHO: Midfielder Rocky Rodríguez (85 caps)

Costa Rica continues qualifiers for the Concacaf region. Each nation plays two matches at home and two matches away, and the top finisher in each of the groups will advance to the Concacaf W Championship, joining the top two ranked Concacaf nations (USA and Canada) who have received a bye straight to the W Championship, which takes place in July 2022.

MATCH INFO

  • Saturday, April 9 vs. Curaçao, at 4 p.m. (Pacific) on Paramount+
  • Tuesday, April 12 vs. Guatemala, at 6 p.m. (Pacific) on Paramount+

NOTES: Rodríguez helped Costa Rica earn two wins in their first two group stage matches in February, scoring three goals, including a brace in a 6-0 win over U.S. Virgin Islands on Feb. 20. Costa Rica’s home match against Guatemala will be the decider of who wins the group and advances to the W Championship in July as the two teams are tied on points and are only separated by goal differential after the first round of games.

FINLAND

WHO: Defender Natalia Kuikka (65 caps)

Already qualified for this year’s UEFA EURO Championship, Finland has their sights set on qualifying for another tournament – the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup – and continue group play in European qualifying in this window.

MATCH INFO

  • Friday, April 8 vs. Slovakia, at 11:30 a.m. (Pacific)
  • Tuesday, April 12 vs. Georgia, at 8:15 a.m. (Pacific)

NOTES: Finland (6 pts) currently sits in third place in their group, trailing Ireland in second place on seven points and first-place Sweden (15 points). The winner of each group advances to the finals with the runners-up taking part in the UEFA playoffs in October 2022. Finland will need to catch Ireland to have a chance to move on to the playoffs and keep their World Cup hopes alive.