Portland Thorns FC announced today the club’s roster prior to the start of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup. The Thorns open the 2022 Challenge Cup away against Cascadia rivals OL Reign. The match is scheduled for Friday, March 18 at Lumen Field at 7 p.m. (Pacific) on Paramount+.
The Thorns also announced the signings of 2022 NWSL Draft picks Natalie Beckman and Gabby Provenzano. Each player signed a one-year contract with an option for an additional season.
“Gabby arrived into our environment completely unflappable; calm under pressure, hardworking, ready to learn, she has been a pleasure to coach and has seamlessly integrated into the team,” Thorns FC head coach Rhian Wilkinson shared. “We see her as a prospect that we can develop this season, whenever we need her, she is ready. A top-quality person and player who is ready to fill in for her team in whatever position or capacity that is needed. I’ve really appreciated her commitment to her own development and her clear team-first mentality.”
Provenzano transitioned from defensive midfield to center back during her career at Rutgers University. But the Thorns have listed her as a midfielder in the roster and Wilkinson said she was primarily training as a No. 6.
Rhian Wilkinson on the integration of Sam Coffey, Gabby Provenzano and Natalie Beckman. She touched on Coffey’s maturity on the ball and off the pitch, Provenzano in the No. 6, and Beckman in the middle, out wide and at the No. 9 #BAONPDX— Grant Little (@grantlittle09) February 3, 2022
via Thorns FC pic.twitter.com/6ti8ax64gg
Wilkinson also said Beckman has been training all over the pitch. Beckman made her name at the University of Denver as a forward and is listed as a forward in the roster but don’t be surprised to see her get minutes in the attack and in the defense.
“Nat has arrived in Portland with a big smile on her face and the attitude to watch, work, and learn. She is a top character person and player who has seamlessly fit into the locker room and team,” said Wilkinson. “She’s played numerous positions for us during the preseason and her ability and willingness to do whatever it takes for the team has been appreciated. Those who have been fortunate enough to see her play in the preseason have seen a young player who has a bright future and high ceiling for her development, I’m excited to have her join our team.”
2022 Portland Thorns FC Roster
Goalkeepers (3): Bella Bixby, Shelby Hogan, Abby Smith
Defenders (7): Kelli Hubly, Meghan Klingenberg, Natalia Kuikka (INTL), Emily Menges, Meaghan Nally, Madison Pogarch, Becky Sauerbrunn
Midfielders (7): Sam Coffey, Crystal Dunn (ML), Olivia Moultrie, Gabby Provenzano (CDP), Rocky Rodríguez, Yazmeen Ryan, Hina Sugita (INTL)
Forwards (6): Natalie Beckman (CDP), Hannah Betfort, Marissa Everett, Christine Sinclair, Sophia Smith, Morgan Weaver
INTL – International Player
CDP – 2022 NWSL Draft Pick
ML – Maternity Leave
The club’s full release can be found here.