PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC have signed defender Becky Sauerbrunn to a one-year contract, it was announced today.
“We are so excited to sign Becky for another year. The leadership, experience, professionalism and quality she adds to the team is invaluable,” said Karina LeBlanc, Thorns FC general manager. “Becky is a competitor at heart and her mentality toward always striving to be better every single day is something that aligns perfectly with the meaning of being a Thorn.”
Sauerbrunn arrived in Portland ahead of the 2020 NWSL season via a trade with Utah Royals FC. Across all competitions with the club, Sauerbrunn has appeared in 26 matches (24 starts), helping the team win the 2020 NWSL Community Shield, 2021 Challenge Cup and 2021 Women’s International Champions Cup. In her first regular season with the club in 2021, Sauerbrunn played in 16 games (15 starts), logging 1,326 minutes. She won her first career NWSL Shield with Portland, while also helping the club set an NWSL single-season record for shutouts (13).
The U.S. Women’s National Team captain has made 199 international appearances, including three Olympic games (2012, 2016, 2020) and two World Cups (2015, 2019). With her next appearance, Sauerbrunn will become the 12th USWNT player to reach 200 caps.
“Becky is an icon of the women’s game and a role model to many through her professionalism and longevity, having her in the Portland Thorns jersey is a privilege any coach would want,” Thorns FC head coach Rhian Wilkinson shared. “Her leadership on and off the field, her tactical understanding, her ability to understand and adapt to what an opposition is doing, all of these things help make her one of the best center backs in the game.”
The 2022 season marks Sauerbrunn’s 10th in the NWSL. She began her career with FC Kansas City, playing with the club from 2013-17. She helped guide FC Kansas City to back-to-back NWSL Championships in 2014 and 2015 before playing two seasons with Utah Royals FC (2018-19). A four-time NWSL Defender of the Year and seven-time NWSL Best XI selection, she has appeared in 138 matches (136 starts), tallying four goals and three assists during her career in the league.