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Hardware incoming? New Year’s resolutions for the Portland Thorns

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Grant Little outlines potential player goals for the season through New Years Resolutions.

Portland Thorns FC v OL Reign Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The year that seemed like it would never end is finally coming to a close. So everyone knows what time it is … it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions have become somewhat of a meme — i.e. “New year, new me” — but plenty of people still use the end of the year to set new goals for themselves.

But 2021 isn’t the only thing coming fast. We are also nearing the Thorns’ return to action. The players report Feb. 1 and they will most likely be setting goals as Dec. 31 ticks to a close about what they want to accomplish in the coming season.

Here are some New Year’s resolutions for some players and the team as a whole.

Player Resolutions

Bella Bixby: Return to her Challenge Cup form and fight for the starting goalkeeper position.

Celeste Boureille: Build off of her consistent minutes at Fleury 91 in France and serve as an important rotation piece in the Thorns’ midfield.

Fleury 91 v Paris FC - D1 Arkema Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Simone Charley: Continue upward trajectory and improve on her 2020 goal tally (two goals).

Crystal Dunn: Take this already stacked Thorns’ midfield to the next level by providing efficiency in the final third.

Britt Eckerstrom: Keep doing what she’s doing. Her form in the Challenge Cup and Fall Series was incredible. Mark Parsons is going to have his hands full selecting a starting keeper.

Marissa Everett: Fight to become a reliable attacking option off the bench and get on the score sheet.

Adrianna Franch: Return from injury and reclaim the starting goalkeeper spot. Added bonus is she can get back into the USWNT call-up conversation.

Lindsey Horan: Orchestrate the Thorns midfield and dominate both sides of the ball while adding goals and assists. Help the USWNT win gold in Tokyo.

Kelli Hubly: Force Parsons into tough decisions when selecting the back line and serve as the first player off the bench to fill in at center back or right back while being groomed for a future starting spot.

Meghan Klingenberg: Continue to wreak havoc down the opposition’s flank, give the best pregame speeches in the NWSL, and assist players when they are scoring and when they are adjusting to professional soccer.

Natalia Kuikka: Secure a starting center back spot and help anchor a stifling defense. Score her first NWSL goal.

Tyler Lussi: Challenge herself to be one of the game changing attackers off the bench. Learn from attacking talent around her.

Utah Royals FC v Portland Thorns FC Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Emily Menges: Continue being a rock at the back. Serve as a leader throughout the season and especially when some of the other leaders are in Tokyo for the Olympics.

Meaghan Nally: Use the experience she gained at Turbine Postdam and build on it in Portland. She should Challenge to be a reliable rotation piece for the Thorns’ defense.

Madison Pogarch: Keep learning from Klingenberg and solidify herself as next-in-line at the left back position.

Rocky Rodriguez: Now that she has had time to adjust to life in Portland, she should aim to keep unlocking defenses with her creative passing while upping her goals and assists.

Angela Salem: Become an undroppable midfield piece while contributing to the Thorns’ ball progression and solidifying the defense from the center of the park.

SOCCER: OCT 10 NWSL - Portland Thorns FC at OL Reign Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Becky Sauerbrunn: Serve as a leader and mentor on and off the field and continue to be one of the best defenders in the world. Continue her dominant partnership with Abby Dahlkemper in Tokyo.

Christine Sinclair: Groom the next batch of young Thorns attackers and continue to render NWSL defenses useless as the all-time leading international goalscorer does what she does best. Help lead Canada to a good run in the Olympics.

Sophia Smith: Secure a starting spot and lead the team in goals scored. Try to find a way into the 18 player Olympic rosters through her NWSL performances.

Morgan Weaver: Continue her development as she did in the NWSL Challenge Cup and Fall Series. Improve her finishing and become a reliable goalscorer for the Thorns.

Christen Westphal: Become the go-to right back and become more potent in the attacking third while still providing defensive stability.

Team Resolutions

  1. Bolster the squad depth at center defensive midfield
  2. Continue developing the next generation of Thorns players
  3. Win a trophy (Challenge Cup, NWSL Shield, and/or NWSL Cup)
  4. Challenge for the NWSL Shield
  5. Make it to the NWSL Playoff Semifinals