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Thorns Announce Opening Day Roster

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7 new faces begin the season on the Thorns roster, while another returns from a year away.

Stacey Neve/Stumptown Footy

The Portland Thorns announced their opening day roster for 2015, featuring 8 players new to the Thorns this season and 1 player, Kat Williamson, returning following a year away from the Thorns.

New to the Thorns are are allocated Canadian defender Rhian Wilkinson and midfielder Kaylyn Kyle, English international forward Jodie Taylor, Equatorian Guinean international forward Ayo Añonma, midfielders McCall Zerboni and Sarah Robbins, and Portland-native and former Pilot defender Kendall Johnson, while defender Kat WIlliamson, a member of the 2013 NWSL Championship-winning team, was re-acquired by the Thorns in the offseason.

Returning to Thorns are goalkeepers Nadine Angerer and Michelle Betos, defenders Stephanie Catley, Emily Menges, and Rachel Van Hollebeke, midfielders Sinead Farrelly, Tobin Heath, Allie Long, and Mana Shim, and fowards Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair, and Hanna Terry.

While listed on the roster, Catley will not join the Thorns until after the completion of Australia's participation in the 2015 Women's World Cup, while Añonma will join the Thorns following the completion of the Frauen-Bundesliga season on May 10.

Additionally, Angerer (Germany), Kyle (Canada), Sinclair (Canada), Taylor (England), and Wilkinson (Canada) have all been called into international rosters for matches on April 7 and/or April 9, and only Angerer and Taylor have been confirmed to re-join the Thorns in time for Saturday's season opener against the Boston Breakers at Providence Park.

Interestingly, roster replacements for the called-in internationals have yet to be announced, but it would not be surprising for goalkeeper Emily Kruger, defenders Kate Bennett and Tessa Andujar, midfielders Kelley Monogue, Alyssa Kleiner and Taylor Comeau, and forward Kelsey Haycook, to be among possible amateur call-ups, as they all made it deep into Thorns camp, with Haycook (3), Comeau (2), and Monogue all scoring during preseason matches.

Joining head coach Paul Riley on the bench are assistant coach Skip Thorp and new goalkeeper coach Vallow, who replaces Steve Reese, who took the same position with T2.

While the Thorns have 21 players announced on the just-released roster, it does not appear that the rosters have been expanded for this season, despite numerous international call-ups before and during the World Cup, but rather due to Añonma's absence until mid-May, similar to situations seen in previous seasons.

As we near the home opener this weekend, the new Thorns will be profiled over the next several days, so be sure to stay tuned.

Portland Thorns Press Release-

THORNS FC ANNOUNCE 2015 SEASON-OPENING ROSTER
Portland opens 2015 NWSL campaign Saturday against Boston Breakers at Providence Park
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC today announced the team’s season-opening roster for the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League campaign. Thorns FC open the 2015 NWSL season at home Saturday against the Boston Breakers.

Led by second-year head coach Paul Riley and assistant coaches Skip Thorp and Scott Vallow, Thorns FC enter their third season in the NWSL with a deep and experienced roster, featuring 11 players who have played with their respective national teams and eight with FIFA Women’s World Cup experience.


The current roster is highlighted by a number of high-profile national team players, including U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan, midfielder Tobin Heath and defender Rachel Van Hollebeke; Canada Women’s National Team forward Christine Sinclair and defenders Kaylyn Kyle and Rhian Wilkinson; Germany Women’s National Team goalkeeper Nadine Angerer; and England Women’s National Team forward Jodie Taylor. Taylor, the newest international addition, was acquired as part of a 2015 NWSL College Draft-day trade. In 2014 with the Washington Spirit, Taylor tallied 11 goals and two assists, earning NWSL Second XI accolades. One of the top goals scorers in the NWSL in 2014 midfielder Allie Long returns for a third season in Portland after a career-best year in 2014, recording nine goals and three assists and earning NWSL Second XI honors.


Portland also acquired several key players through offseason trades, including defender Kat Williamson, who played for Thorns FC during her rookie season in 2013, experienced midfielder McCall Zerboni and defender Kendall Johnson, while also signing midfielder Sarah Robbins, who previously played with Finnish club Åland United.


Australia Women’s National Team defender Steph Catley returns to Portland for her second season and will join Thorns FC after competing at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Equatorial Guinea National Team forward Genoveva (Ayo) Añonma will join the team in May after the conclusion of her season with Turbine Potsdam in Germany’s Frauen Bundesliga.
In addition, six other players return as part of Portland’s roster for the 2015 campaign, including midfielders Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly and defender Emily Menges, who appeared in more than half of Portland’s regular-season matches in 2014.

2015 Portland Thorns FC Roster
(as of April 6, 2015)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nadine Angerer, Michelle Betos

DEFENDERS (8): Steph Catley, Kendall Johnson, Kaylyn Kyle, Emily Menges, Courtney Niemiec, Rachel Van Hollebeke, Rhian Wilkinson, Kat Williamson

MIDFIELDERS (6): Sinead Farrelly, Tobin Heath, Allie Long, Sarah Robbins, Mana Shim, McCall Zerboni

FORWARDS (5): Genoveva (Ayo) Añonma, Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair, Jodie Taylor, Hanna Terry


Click here to see the full team roster and web bios for each player.

Thorns FC start the 2015 NWSL regular season with back-to-back home matches, playing host to the Boston Breakers in their home opener on Saturday, April 11, at Providence Park; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific). Portland takes on the Western New York Flash on Saturday, April 18, at Providence Park; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific).

Single-game tickets for all Thorns FC home games are available online at www.portlandthornsfc.com. Fans also are able to purchase tickets, starting at $13, for all 10 of the team’s regular-season NWSL home matches online, at the Providence Park box office or by calling (888) 736-6849. The Providence Park box office is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Group opportunities for Thorns FC matches are available by contacting the ticket office at (503) 553-5555 or ticketsales@timbers.com. Additional group information can be found at www.timbers.com/thornsfc/thorns-group-outings.