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Portland Thorns secure Morgan Weaver through 2024

Rejoice! The forward extended her contract for one more year with an option to 2025.

Morgan Weaver at Providence Park Rose City Riveters

It’s no secret Portland Thorns forward Morgan Weaver is a fan favorite. Thorns’ general manager Karina LeBlanc put it very well when she said: “She has captured the hearts and minds of the fans with her performance on the field.”

Those fans must be happy since Morgan follows follows Rocky Rodríguez and Sam Coffey in having a new contract announced. The Thorns announced today that she has signed a new deal keeping her in Portland through 2024, with a club option for 2025.

The 2020 NWSL Draft was great for the club. Portland secured the two top picks with Weaver selected as the second pick of the first round, right after Sophia Smith. Understandably so, there were a lot of expectations for the duo. But then the pandemic happened and Smith couldn’t pair up with Weaver due to a sustained injury.

Nonetheless, despite the absence of a regular season, Morgan Weaver made an impact that year. She made her debut in the Challenge Cup against North Carolina on June 27 and she would score her first professional goal against the same team in July.

Just sit and re-watch the attacker’s first professional goal, the one that knocked a mighty Courage team out of the first edition of the Challenge Cup, in the semifinals:

Weaver has given to the club and fans lots of memorable moments but looking back to her Washington State University years, you can tell she has been doing the kind of goals and celebrations we are used to seeing her doing in the NWSL for years now.

Does that last goal remind you of this one?

Back in her college years, she was the force for her team and no doubt she does the same for the Thorns. No matter how many miles she has run in a game, she will always chase the ball and will always try her best no matter if the team is winning by a large margin or not. She always wants more. And it’s that hunger one of the qualities that makes her a valuable member of the team. “Weaver is an electrifying player that always gives everything for this club,” said LeBlanc regarding the driving force that is Morgan Weaver.

The forward had an outstanding 2021 season, always showing up in important moments. Like when she scored the last penalty to win the second edition of the Challenge Cup:

And when she managed to score on Lyon, one of the best teams in the world, and leave Amandine Henry lying on the grass, trying to prevent the goal (sorry, Mandy):

All those decisive moments and many more won her first call-up with the senior USWNT at the end of 2021. She also got to debut and played two games against the Australia. But then 2022 came and she couldn’t play as much as she wanted due to injury. Nonetheless, she took advantage of the games she could play and evolved as a player under a new head coach, in a team where every player was highly competitive.

Thorns’ coach Rhian Wilkinson said regarding Weaver: “We’ve really seen Weaver step up this year. She’s always been known for her energy, the excitement of what she does on the ball, and the hard work she puts in, but this year we really got to see even more of her as a complete player. The control she has going at extreme speed, how she sets up her teammates, and the amazing whip she has on the ball from long range. She really showed how many tools she has to her game and that includes sometimes being the last defender back because she will do it all for her team.”

Some stats

In 2022, Weaver made 20 appearances (13 starts). She scored 7 goals during the regular season (second on the goal scoring charts after Smith) and registered three assists. She was included in the NWSL Team of the Month in July and scored her first career brace on September 25 against the Chicago Red Stars. Weaver finished the season with the third most non-penalty expected goals in the league (7.31) and was one of 10 players in the NWSL to tally 10 or more goal contributions.

We hope Morgan Weaver can write much more history into the Thorns’ soccer books in an outstanding 2023 season — and beyond.

You can read the team’s full press release on signing Weaver to a new deal here.