Thorns head coach Paul Riley spoke with Samantha Yarock of PortlandThornsFC.com after the draft. Here are some key quotes:
On acquiring Jodie Taylor: "I think we needed another forward obviously, and Jodie's proven within the league...I felt last year she was the most dangerous forward in the league, bar anybody. She runs well behind defenses. She's gotta cross the lines. She's clever. She's a good finisher. I think she's caught offside a lot of times, which means she's always on the last shoulder, which I like about a forward. I think for us to be able to get a top-notch forward, I mean she scored 11 goals last year. I think she's a proven player in the league, and that's what we really wanted: a proven goalscorer."
Managing the Thorns during the World Cup: "I think balancing is going to be the issue for us obviously and making sure we do have players. One we get all the dates from the Canadians and the Americans then we'll try and figure everything out. I think we're in a pretty good position where we won't be short; that we'll be able to turn out a top-notch team every week, but that's the trickiest part is just going to manage...it not only managing whether they're away or not but whether they need rest when they come back; what kind of injuries have they got...When you ask all the internationals, they want to come back; they want to play in Portland, they want to play in front of the great fan base. You know, we're just going to have to mange it and that's going to be a tough year for sure...We're going to have a good 12-14 players in house all the time and it's going to up to them for a few of them to step up to the plate and get the job done."
Going into his second year with the Thorns: "I think we made a lot of changes last year; this year we didn't make so many changes. We've kept the core group and we just wanted to tinker a little bit with it and bring some key parts in that we felt we really needed. Last year was a big overhaul of the team and I think this year is a lot easier for the fans to recognize some of the players we brought in. We've got a couple of big signings on the way too and I think they'll make a big difference to the squad. Last year, we had an up and down season: we were like an elevator. Some times we were up and some times we were going down. This year we need more consistency and I think just the group being around another year, being around me another year, with the same coaching staff is going to be important. I'm looking forward to a new season."