Portland Thorns FC
Head Coach: Cindy Parlow Cone
What We Know: The Thorns are the only team under the same ownership umbrella as an MLS team. And what an MLS team it is. The Timbers have sold every ticket to all 34 of their regular season home games and have a waiting list for season tickets (aprox. 5,000) likely to be larger than any NWSL team averages in 2013. They will play at JELD-WEN, which could prove to be too big (they may also play some games at Merlo Field at the University of Portland).
What We Don’t Know: The Timbers are a model for MLS off the field but in two seasons have yet to get close to a formula that can win consistently. We’ll see if that changes and whether the women’s team follows suit or develops its own identity. Portland is expected to be a desirable option for the allocated players. Will they get the right mix?
What We Think: This is an important market for NWSL. The team has already secured more than 2,000 season ticket deposits (all refundable) and the Timbers Army is already working on chants to use at the games. The Thorns success or lack thereof figures to go a long way towards the overall success of the league.