USWNT/Portland Thorns FC Schedule Conflicts: Here's the Deal

Michael Chang

A little more clarity on who will be gone -- and for how long -- when the overlap occurs.

After quite the flurry the past couple of months, there's not a lot of news coming out of the Portland Thorns FC world of late. There is, however, this little tidbit: A friendly between the USWNT and Canada's National Team has been scheduled for June 2, 2013, in Toronto.

This will affect the lineup for the Thorns home match against FC Kansas City on June 1. I spoke to the Timbers/Thorns press folks and there are no specifics on which national team players will be out of the Thorns lineup for that match (at this early juncture such a lack of detail is to be expected), but one would assume that Thorns/USWNT's Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, and Rachel Buehler, and Thorns/Canada National Teamers Christine Sinclair and Karina LeBlanc will miss the June 1 game.

It's a bummer--but not unusual-- for pro club teams to lose premiere players for a game or two due to national team commitments, but the bigger picture is this: What are the specifics of the scheduling logistics for the players when conflicts do occur?

U.S. Soccer's Senior Manager of Communications Neil Buethe told me, via email, "For the June 2 match, the team will most likely come [to USWNT camp] in after their weekend games." For the Thorns, this means the national team players will play the May 25 match at Seattle, and then miss the June 1 match.

Sounds like a similar schedule will prevail throughout the season, according to Buethe. "That is the general plan moving forward as well," he said. " So if there is a double-date in the summer where the team would play two games in five days (the first on a Saturday), the players would come in after their games on the weekend before (which provides about five days of practice before the first game)."
So there you have it.

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