Meet the Portland Thorns
This is the third installment of our series “Introducing Portland’s Sports Teams,” where we introduce you to every professional, semi-professional and college sports program in Portland.
Who are the Portland Thorns?
The Portland Thorns were established in 2012 ahead of the inaugural 8-team National Women’s Soccer League. Owned by the same group that controls the Timbers, Peregrine Sports, the Thorns are one of just two teams in the NWSL with a MLS affiliation.
League: NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League)
Home Field: Jeld-Wen Field
Team Colors: Red, Green, Black
Owner: Peregrine Sports, LLC
Head Coach: Paul Riley
Championships: 1 (2013)
Why you should root for them
Two words: Alex Morgan.
America’s soccer sweetheart burst into the national spotlight back in 2011 when Team USA barely lost to Japan in the World Cup final. Since then, she’s become arguably the face of women’s soccer in America, with a 2012 Olympic gold medal from London to back it up.
But the Thorns are much more than just one player. They’re the female counterparts to the most thrilling show in MLS.
In 2013, the NWSL began with eight teams for their inaugural season. The Thorns averaged 13,320 fans per game, which was nearly three times the amount of their closest competitor (FC Kansas City: 4,626) and more fans than the majority of the league combined!
They also won the first professional championship in Portland since the ’77 Blazers.
After finishing the regular season in a three-way tie, a goal differential tie-breaker sent the Thorns to the playoffs as the No. 3 seed. Two games later, the Portland Thorns were the first ever NWSL Champions.