After missing all of last season, Iceland’s #10 Dagny Brynjarsdottir will be putting on a Portland Thorns jersey once again in the 2019 NWSL season, according to reports now officially confirmed by the club.
Brynjarsdottir, a crafty and physical playmaker capable of playing centrally or on the wing, was first brought to the NWSL by the Thorns in the 2016 season has played 31 games for the Thorns over the course of two seasons.
That Brynjarsdottir has been expected to return to the Thorns this year has been an open secret for a few months now, and indeed may have been the plan since the moment she had to take a leave of absence from the club after the 2017 season due to pregnancy.
Despite struggling for minutes at the Thorns before her extended break from soccer, Brynjarsdottir had looked to be hitting new levels as a player, capped off with a dominant performance for her country against Germany in October of 2017 where she netted two goals and an assist in a 3-2 win that put Iceland in pole position in their World Cup qualifying group. Brynjarsdottir’s absence from her team almost certainly didn’t help in the return fixture, a 2-0 win for Germany, which ensured Germany would qualify ahead of them. Iceland’s absence from the World Cup, while disappointing for their players, will be a great benefit for the Thorns, who will be the NWSL club most impacted by international absences during the 2019 season.
Gavin Wilkinson noted this need in the press release, saying, “With 2019 being a World Cup year, it was important to add players to our roster that can contribute for a majority of the season as numerous key players will be away with their respective national teams for large portions of the season.” Brynjarsdottir will likely be a key part of the Thorns midfield during the international absences, with Lindsey Horan and Tobin Heath both projected to miss significant parts of the season at the World Cup and in pre-World Cup USWNT camps.