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Portland Thorns Totally Not Interested in Ali Krieger, Right?

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Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Thorns are not interested in Ali Krieger.

Or are they?

With some big moves from the Thorns on Monday,  anything seems possible when it comes to what comes next for the flagship NWSL club, so when Washington Post reporter Steve Goff took to Twitter to say that the Thorns had expressed interest in USWNT and Washington Spirit defender Ali Krieger, it did not seem particularly out of the question.

Then Merritt Paulson got involved. The Thorns owner took a strong stance on this one, telling Goff that the news was "inaccurate". Things took a back and forth turn from there as Goff stood by his scoop and Paulson maintained that the Thorns were not interested in Krieger.

Merritt Paulson and Steve Goff talk Ali Krieger

So just what is going on here?

Krieger, 31, was a key part of the US's 2015 World Cup winning side, playing every match for the US and every minute of the final against Japan. With the Spirit, new Thorns coach Mark Parsons' former side, Krieger has made 40 appearances over the last three years, despite being a regular call-up for the USWNT in that period.

Despite her service, Krieger was left on the unprotected list by the Spirit for the upcoming NWSL Expansion Draft. The Thorns, who now are in possession of the top pick in the draft after trading Alex Morgan to the Orlando Pride, could simply use their pick to take Krieger and reunite her with Parsons in order to fill out a Thorns back line that has lost a major influence with the retirement of Rachael Van Hollebeke.

If the Thorns were to use their pick on Krieger, however, that would mean passing over the player they have been most heavily linked with: fullback Meghan Klingenberg.

Is there something to this? Is this just some sort of misunderstanding? Are the Spirit just trying to jump on the Thorns' train to publicity town? We will have to wait and see.

Update: Oh, and Paulson had one last thing to say about the issue:

Merritt Paulson on Ali Krieger