Thorns FC Announce Roster Ahead of 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup Opener on April 9 at Providence Park
PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Thorns FC today announced their roster ahead of their opening match of the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by Secret Deodorant on April 9 at Providence Park against KC NWSL; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Paramount+.
Thorns FC will then travel for a road match against the Chicago Red Stars on April 15; kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Paramount+. Portland returns to Providence Park for its second home game of the Challenge Cup, squaring off against Cascadia rival OL Reign on April 21 at 7 p.m. (Pacific) with a national broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Thorns FC conclude division play on the road against the Houston Dash on May 2; kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Paramount+. All games will be available internationally on Twitch, including in Canada for all games that are not on CBS Sports Network.
This year's tournament will see the league's 10 teams organized into two divisions, East and West. The East is comprised of Racing Louisville FC, North Carolina Courage, Orlando Pride, Sky Blue FC and the Washington Spirit. The West includes Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, OL Reign and Portland. Each team will play four matches in home markets, as approved by the NWSL's Medical Task Force, followed by the top team from each division competing in the final slated for May 8. The championship site will be determined by the league at a later date.
Following the Challenge Cup, the NWSL will begin its 24-game regular-season schedule with opening day scheduled for May 15. The league will not break for the 2021 Summer Olympics and the regular season will conclude on Oct. 30. Six teams will qualify for an expanded NWSL playoffs set to begin on Nov. 6, with the top two seeds receiving a first-round bye. The league's ninth season will conclude with the NWSL Championship on Nov. 20.
2021 Thorns FC Roster
Goalkeepers (3): Bella Bixby, Adrianna Franch (ALL), Shelby Hogan
Defenders (8): Kelli Hubly, Meghan Klingenberg, Natalia Kuikka (INTL), Emily Menges, Meaghan Nally, Madison Pogarch, Becky Sauerbrunn (ALL), Christen Westphal
Midfielders (6): Celeste Boureille, Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Rocky RodrÃguez, Angela Salem, Christine Sinclair (ALL)
Forwards (5): Simone Charley, Marissa Everett, Tyler Lussi, Sophia Smith (ALL), Morgan Weaver
INTL - International Player
ALL - Allocated Player
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National Women's Soccer League Stories from April 5, 2021
- Sky Blue FC Announces 24-Player Roster Ahead of Challenge Cup - Sky Blue FC
- NC Courage Announces 2021 Roster - North Carolina Courage
- Thorns FC Announce Roster Ahead of 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup Opener on April 9 at Providence Park - Portland Thorns FC
- Kansas City NWSL Announces 2021 28-Player Roster - Kansas City
- Houston Dash Unveil 2021 Luv Ya Dash Secondary Kits - Houston Dash
- Orlando Pride Roster Update Ahead of 2021 Challenge Cup Play - Orlando Pride
- Kansas City NWSL Forward Called up for International Duty with Argentina - Kansas City
- NC Courage May 1st Match vs. Orlando Sold Out - North Carolina Courage
- OL Reign Announces 28-Player Roster Prior to Challenge Cup - OL Reign
- Racing Signs Five Trialists to Round out Roster - Racing Louisville FC
- NWSL, Soccer Partners Introduce New Concussion Protocol - NWSL
- Houston Dash Announce 2021 28-Player Roster - Houston Dash
- Sky Blue FC DefenderEstelle Johnson Joins Cameroon Ahead of Olympic Qualifiers against Chile - Sky Blue FC
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