Bay grad Ellertson drafted by Thorns FC soccer team

Portland glad to get former member of U.S. national team

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter



The coach of Portland Thorns FC was excited that Tina Ellertson was available when it was finally Portland’s turn to participate in Thursday’s National Women’s Soccer League supplemental draft.

But it’s uncertain whether Ellertson will play this season for Thorns FC. A tweet from her Twitter account early this week indicated she would not play pro soccer this season. Ellertson could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

A 2000 graduate of Hudson’s Bay High School, Ellertson lives in Vancouver and is a coaching director for the F.C. Salmon Creek youth soccer club.

Thursday’s supplemental draft was another opportunity for NWSL teams to add players. The new league previously assigned national team players to rosters, held a college draft, and given teams the chance to sign four or five free agents.

Because Ellertson was not signed prior to Thursday, she was included in the supplemental draft pool. Portland had the eighth pick of the first round, meaning Ellertson had to hope none of the other teams selected her ahead of the Thorns’ turn.

“She’s an outstanding defender who can play on the outside or in the middle. And she’s extremely fast,” Thorns coach Cindy Parlow Cone said.

Parlow Cone also cited Ellertson’s experience, technical skill and tactical understanding as reasons she was a good pick.

Ellertson, 30, was a defender for the United States’ women’s national team from 2005-08, playing in 34 games including two during the 2007 Women’s World Cup in China. From 2009-11 she played in Women’s Pro Soccer for St. Louis, Atlanta and magicJack.

Ellertson was the first of five selections by the Thorns FC in Thursday’s draft. Portland also selected University of Portland midfielder Angie Kerr, former women’s U-23 national team forward Michele Weissenhofer, former national team defender Marian Dalmy and former University of Connecticut forward Jessica Shufelt.

On Wednesday, Thorns FC announced it signed four players with youth international experience: midfielders Becky Edwards, Allie Longand Nikki Washington and defender Nikki Marshall.

Thorns FC have 20 players on the roster. Parlow Cone said the team plans to sign several more players ahead of the beginning of practices. Thorns FC training camp will begin on March 11. The 22-game schedule will begin on April 13, though the schedule has not yet been released.

Timbers wrap up Tucson camp

The Portland Timbers on Friday will conclude a 12-day training camp in Tucson, Ariz., with a match against host FC Tucson of the Premier Development League. The 10 a.m. match will not be streamed live on the Internet. The Timbers return to Portland following the match. Their preseason schedule will wrap up with matches at Jeld-Wen Field on Feb. 17 (San Jose), Feb. 20 (F.C. Dallas) and Feb. 23 (AIK of Sweden). The regular season opener is March 3 at Jeld-Wen Field against New York.

Timbers sign draft pick — The Timbers have signed central defender Dylan Tucker-Gangnes, the team’s recent pick in the MLS SuperDraft and former Washington Husky.