The Portland Thorns made the acquisition of French midfielder Amandine Henry official today after months of rumors, linking her to the team. Henry comes to the club from French side Lyon.
One of the consensus best players in the world, Henry joins the Thorns a year after receiving the Silver Ball at the 2015 Women's World Cup, where she was the midfield lynchpin for a strong French side.
Henry will not join the Thorns until her contract with Lyon runs out, presumably seeing her join the team approximately midway through the season.
The Thorns press release:
THORNS FC SIGN MIDFIELDER AMANDINE HENRY
2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Silver Ball winner, FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year nominee to join Portland for 2016 NWSL season
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC have signed French international midfielder Amandine Henry, it was announced today. She will be added to the roster pending the receipt of her P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Amandine is a proven, world-class player with demonstrated success at both the club and international level in France," said Gavin Wilkinson, GM/president of soccer for Thorns FC. "Her accomplishments speak for themselves, and we are very pleased to add a player of her caliber to an already talented Thorns club and to the NWSL."
The winner of the Silver Ball at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Henry, 26, helped guide France to the quarterfinal round of the tournament. She appeared in five matches (all starts), scoring one goal for France at the World Cup, earning recognition on the FIFA All-Star Team. A nominee for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and a finalist for the UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe Award in 2015, Henry was recently selected to the FIFPro Women’s World XI. Henry made her debut for the France Women’s National Team in 2009 and has earned 48 caps, tallying six goals for Les Bleues.
"Amandine is one of the very best in the world, and I am delighted she is joining us in Portland in her prime," said Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons. "Her ability to control the game in the center of midfield helps everyone else do their job better. She has exceptional passing range, is very intelligent on and off the ball and can score special goals, as she proved in the World Cup last year. Amandine brings a winning mentality to a talented group and I believe she will play an important role in supporting our team chemistry and culture, on the field and in the locker room."
In nine seasons with Division I Féminine side Lyon, Henry helped lead the club to back-to-back UEFA Women’s Champions League titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12, starting and playing all 90 minutes in the championship match both years. In addition, she also helped Lyon win eight league titles and the Women’s French Cup four times.
Henry signed with Lyon ahead of the 2007-08 season and, during her tenure there she has appeared in 198 matches across all competitions, tallying 44 goals. In Champions League play, Henry has made 49 appearances as she has helped lead Lyon to the quarterfinal final round of the 2015-16 edition of the tournament.
Henry will arrive in Portland upon conclusion of her contract with Lyon.
Pronunciation: A-MAHN-dean on-REE
Born: Sept. 28, 1989
Hometown: Lille, France
Last Club: Lyon (France)