In a collaboration with the Offside Rule podcast, The Guardian is releasing its list of the top 100 women’s soccer players of 2020. On Tuesday, they revealed numbers 71-100, which included one current Portland Thorns FC player and one former player.
The first Portland Thorn to be named was newcomer Natalia Kuikka. The 25-year-old defender was recently named Finland’s best women’s player of 2020 and comes in at 92nd on The Guardian’s list.
“Kuikka, a 25-year-old centre-back, is undoubtedly one of the breakout stories of the year. While many have focused on the forward line of the new Damallsvenskan champions Kopparbergs/Göteborg, Kuikka has brought a new dynamic to the team with both her defensive and offensive qualities. Named the Damallsvenskan defender of the year, she registered more shots on target than any other centre-back in Europe in 2020 but also the most ball recoveries, somehow combining defence and attack like few other centre-backs can. Her importance to her team’s title success has earned her an eye-catching move to Portland Thorns for 2021.”
Former Thorn Ellie Carpenter also made the first part of the list, ranking 76th. The Australian defender joined Olympique Lyonnais Féminin from Portland Thorns FC in June.
You can read the rest of the list here.