Thorns International Roundup: When Will They Arrive?

Claudio Villa

Head coach Paul Riley believes the Thorns will have their full complement of players, sans Tobin Heath, by the June 7 match up with Western New York.

Paul Riley has revealed he believes that the Thorns will nearly have their full roster by first match in June, it has been reported in multiple media outlets (here and here).

Riley has said previously that he expected midfielder Vero Boquete and defender Stephanie Catley with the club by the start of June, but he also added a surprise: he expects Alex Morgan and Rachel Van Hollebeke to be available as well.

When I attended training prior to the match against Seattle Reign FC a week and a half ago, Morgan looked to be regaining her fitness and participating fully in the portion of training I was able to observe, while Van Hollebeke looked to be limited in training, though I was only able to observe the first 15 minutes before the session was closed to media.  I plan on attending at least one of the training this week, and I should have an update on their status at that time.

Boquete's tenure with Tyresö FF ends with this Thursday's match up against VfL Wolfsberg in the 2013/14 UEFA Women's Champions League Final in Lisbon, Portugal.  The Spaniard is expected to join the Thorns by June 1, and will hopefully have several training sessions under her belt by June 7.

Catley is currently participating in the 2014 AFC Asian Women's Cup, where her Matildas' side finished 2-0-1, drawing Japan 2-2 and defeating Jordan 7-0 and host Vietnam 2-0, with Catley playing the full 90 in the Japan and Vietnam matches.  Finishing second in Group A, Australia will next face South Korea in the semifinal on May 22, and will close the tournament on May 25 in either the championship or third-place matches.  Catley's Australia side qualified for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada following their victory over Vietnam.  The 20 year-old defender will join the Thorns following the tournament's completion, and is expected be ready to suit up for Portland against the Flash.

Heath will once again join the Thorns later than the rest of her teammates, though she is still expected to be with the Thorns before July.  Her French side, Paris Saint-Germain, has two matches left in their season: on May 24 and June 1, and then she will join the United States Women's National Team for their camp prior to matches against France on June 14 in Tampa, Florida and June 19 in East Hartford, Connecticut.   She will presumably join the Thorns following the latter match and potentially be available for selection June 21 against the Washington Spirit in Boyds, Maryland and/or June 25 against Sky Blue FC at Providence Park.

With the Thorns looking to having their full complement of players by the end of June, the Thorns will need to make room for two players, with the roster currently standing at 19 players without Boquete, Catley, nor Heath currently on the active roster.  The options available to the Thorns either to make a trade, release a player, or place a player on season-ending injury reserve, assuming the player will miss at least 45 days, according to the 2014 NWSL Roster Rules

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