Thorns FC

Portland Thorns FC acquire 21-year-old Danish defender Isabella Obaze

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World Cup veteran Obaze joins Portland from FC Rosengård in Sweden

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC have acquired Denmark centerback Isabella Obaze from FC Rosengård for an undisclosed amount, pending the receipt of her P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Obaze has signed with the club through the 2026 season, with a mutual option for the 2027 season. Additionally, Obaze will occupy an international spot.

“I am so excited to be joining Portland Thorns FC, they are a club with a winning mentality and I hope to help continue their success,” Obaze said. “I can’t wait to get started!”

At just 21 years old, Obaze has become one of Denmark’s stalwarts along the backline following the 2023 FIFA World Cup, having started in four consecutive matches for the “Red and White,” contributing to victories over Iceland and Wales in UEFA Women’s Nations League competition. Obaze made her national team debut in 2022 at the Algarve Cup, starting in Denmark’s match against Italy.

“We became aware of Isabella quite some time ago, and as a result we have been able to see her quickly develop into an incredibly strong defensive player, well beyond her years. Isabella possesses all the intangibles which make her an excellent fit for us, both on and off the field, and we believe she will be an important piece for our club going forward,” Portland Thorns FC general manager Karina LeBlanc said.

Obaze becomes just the second Danish individual to appear for Thorns FC, joining striker Nadia Nadim who was part of both the 2016 NWSL Shield and 2017 NWSL Championship winning squad.

“We are excited to welcome Isabella to the Thorns. She comes to the Thorns with a profile that we believe is very suited to the direction of this team and the league,” head coach Mike Norris said. “Isabella loves to defend, first and foremost, and brings a calmness, beyond her years, on the ball. We look forward to seeing her flourish here in Rose City.”

Since signing her first professional contract with her hometown club, Kolding IF, as a teenager, Obaze has appeared in 105 professional matches, recording a goal and an assist, across all clubs and competitions. After three seasons with Kolding, Obaze joined HB Køge, where she helped the Danish-side lift three consecutive league titles and advance to the UEFA Women’s Champions League Group Stage for the first time in club history.

Obaze’s performance in the HB Køge’s historic season led to a transfer for the young defender to FC Rosengård in Sweden, where she has once again played Champions League football, starting in all seven matches of the tournament this year.

Isabella Obaze

Position: Defender
Height: 5-10
Born: October 30, 2002
Hometown: Kolding, Denmark
Citizenship: Denmark
Previous Club: FC Rosengård (Damallsvenskan)