Thorns FC

NOTEBOOK | Thorns take centerstage on a special night in Canada


A busy international window for the Thorns kicked off with a special night for three members of club as Canada opened its gold medal celebration tour in Vancouver, B.C. General Manager Karina LeBlanc, head coach Rhian Wilkinson and captain Christine Sinclair were all honored during the Canada Women’s National Team’s match at BC Place on Friday night.

A recognition long overdue in part to the global pandemic, Sinclair was honored in a pre-game ceremony for her all-time international goalscoring record in front of a hometown crowd, surrounded by family as well as former and current teammates.

Sinclair scored her record-breaking 185th international goal at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship on Jan. 29, 2020, at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas.

At halftime, both LeBlanc and Wilkinson were celebrated for their inductions into the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame. Wilkinson was named to the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2021 just last month.

And in the match, Canada defeated Nigeria, 2-0. Both Sinclair and new Thorn Janine Beckie, who was recently acquired on transfer from Manchester City, featured for Canada. Beckie played the full 90, while Sinclair earned player of the match honors.

Kuikka Features for Finland

On the other side of the globe, Thorns defender Natalia Kuikka and Finland continued their pursuit of World Cup Qualification.

Kuikka started and went the full 90 in Finland’s 1-1 draw with Slovakia, at Štadión Antona Malatinského in Slovakia. Finland scored the opening goal just six minutes in, but conceded the equalizer in the 16th minute.

With the draw, Finland has a 2-2-1 (7pts) record in UEFA's Group A, and are tied on points with the Republic of Ireland in second place.

They’ll face Georgia next on Tuesday, April 12, at Bolt Arena on home soil in Helsinki. Finland defeated Georgia, 3-0, in their previous meeting.