The Portland Thorns have been rumored to be looking at signing a new player for some time and now the rumors have come true as the team has added Australian National Team defender and co-captain Clare Polkinghorne to the roster.
Polkinghorne, 26, is a teammate of Thorns fullback Stephanie Catley with Australia and a former club teammate of Thorns keeper Nadine Angerer with the Brisbane Roar.
Coming off a hamstring injury that kept her off the field in the 2015 Womens World Cup, Polkinghorne will likely need some time to recover before jumping into the Thorns lineup, but should be ready to play soon. When she is fit, Polkinghorne will bring a depth of international experience with her, having been capped 79 times for Australia including appearances in the 2007 and 2011 World Cups.
The Thorns' press release:
THORNS FC SIGN DEFENDER CLARE POLKINGHORNE
Australia Women’s National team co-captain set to join Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC have signed Australia Women’s National Team defender Clare Polkinghorne, it was announced today. She will be added to the roster pending the receipt of her P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Polkinghorne, 26, was named co-captain for the Australia Women’s National Team for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, after being named to her third consecutive World Cup roster for the Matildas. The defender has 79 international caps for Australia and helped lead the squad to the 2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
“Clare is a combative, tough, no-nonsense defender. She has tremendous leadership qualities and plenty of pedigree on the ball,” said Thorns FC head coach Paul Riley. “We are very excited to bring her to Portland as we continue to add substance and quality to our backline.”
At the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Polkinghorne started every match of the tournament, helping guide the team to the quarterfinals before suffering a 3-1 defeat to Sweden. Polkinghorne made her international debut at age 17 and appeared in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in a 4-1 win against Ghana in the group stage as an 18 year old.
Playing club soccer with the Brisbane Roar of the Australian W-League, Polkinghorne has made 68 appearances for her hometown club since 2008, leading the Roar to league titles during the 2008-09 and 2010-11 campaigns. Polkinghorne also played on loan with three-time Japanese Nadeshiko club INAC Kobe Leonessa during the 2014 season.
Born: Feb. 1, 1989 in Brisbane, Australia
Hometown: Brisbane, Australia
Last Club: Brisbane Roar (Australia)