Women's soccer stars Morgan, Sinclair to play for Portland Thorns

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 
photoCanada's Christine Sinclair, left, is congratulated by her teammate Sophie Schmidt after scoring their side's first goal during the group A match between Germany and Canada at the Womenís Soccer World Cup in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, June 26, 2011.

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The first members of the Portland Thorns FC are sure to bring smiles to area fans.

Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair, two stars of women's soccer, were among the seven players assigned to Portland when the National Women's Soccer League allocated 55 national team players to its eight franchises.

Also assigned to Portland were midfielder Tobin Heath (USA), defender Rachel Buehler (USA), goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc (Canada), defender Luz Saucedo (Mexico) and defender Marlene Sandoval (Mexico).

All three of the U.S. Women’s National Team players allocated to Thorns FC featured prominently in the United States’ run to a third straight Olympic gold medal during the London 2012 Olympics.

“We are thrilled with today’s allocation, and I see this group of seven players as a terrific foundation for this club,” said Cindy Parlow Cone, head coach of Thorns FC. “This group has a wealth of quality, international experience, and we are excited to build around them to put together a competitive and entertaining club in our first season.”

Friday's allocation announcement was the first step in building rosters for the eight teams in the new women's pro soccer league scheduled to begin play this spring. A college draft is scheduled for next week.

The 2013 schedule has not yet been announced.