Along with five Thorns FC players – Sam Coffey, Crystal Dunn, Olivia Moultrie, Becky Sauerbrunn and Sophia Smith – who are away this weekend for national team duty, three more Portland players in Christine Sinclair (Canada), Hina Sugita (Japan) and Natalia Kuikka (Finland) are also preparing with their respective national teams for upcoming international games.
Sinclair recently announced her upcoming retirement from international play. The all-time leading international goalscorer spoke with the media for the first time today since her announcement about her decision.
Sinclair and Canada will play a two-match series against Brazil in Montréal at Stade Saputo on October 28 (11:30am PT), and at a sold-out Wanderers Ground in Halifax (3:30pm PT) on Oct. 31. Visit canadasoccer.com for additional information and details.
Sugita is currently with Japan as they play in 2024 Olympic qualifiers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Sugita started and played the first 45 minutes in Japan's 7-0 rout of India on Oct. 26. Next up, they play against Uzbekistan on Oct. 29, at Milliy Stadium at 5am PT followed by a match against Vietnam at Lokomotiv Stadium on Nov. 1, at 3am PT. Japan is in the second round of qualifying and currently sit in first place of Group C with a chance to advance to the third round.
Finally, Kuikka joins Finland for a set of home-and-home matches against Croatia in UEFA Nations League play. First, Finland hosts Croatia on Oct. 27, at Helsinki Football Stadium in Helsinki with an 8:45am PT kickoff. Four days later, the action switches to Stadion Šubićevac in Šibenik, Croatia, for a return leg match on Oct. 31, at 9am PT. Finland sit atop Group B2 through two games played.
All of the players will return and be available for selection for Portland's NWSL Semifinal against NJ/NY Gotham FC on Sunday, Nov. 5, at Providence Park (4pm PT, CBS Sports Network).
On to the NWSL Playoffs!
Tickets on sale! Thorns battle Gotham FC in NWSL Semifinal on Nov. 5 at Providence Park