In a deal announced today, the Portland Thorns have signed Natalia Kuikka to a one-year contract extension.
This extension keeps Kuikka with the Thorns through the 2023 season.
unFINNISHed business in the Rose City— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) September 20, 2022
We’ve signed defender Natalia Kuikka to a one-year deal. The extension puts the Finnish international with Portland through the 2023 season.
Kuikka joined the Thorns in 2021 on a two-year deal. She quickly made an impact on the pitch, making has 49 appearances (40 starts). She’s netted two goals and three assists across all competitions in that time.
Already during her time with Portland she has helped them win the 2021 Challenge Cup, the 2021 Women’s International Champions Cup and the 2021 NWSL Shield.
“We’re really excited by Natu’s contract extension and keeping her in Portland. She brings so much experience from the club and international levels and has proven to be one of the best outside backs in this league,” Thorns FC general manager Karina LeBlanc said. “Her contributions are crucial to the makeup of this team.”
A few quick fun facts about Natu:
- Natu has led Portland in tackles won (59, sixth best in the league) and interceptions (56).
- The Thorns FC have the most shutouts (20) and least goals conceded excluding expansion teams (38) to date. She also helped Thorns FC set a new NWSL single-season shutout record in 2021 (13 clean sheets).
- And finally, Natu is not only the captain of the Finnish national team but also Finland’s three-time National Player of the Year (2017, 2020, 2021). In 2022, she led Finland to its first EURO appearance since 2013.
You can read the full press release on Kuikka’s extension here.