Thorns announce roster, make trade

River grad Tarr expected to be added this week

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 
photoPortland acquired Spanish midfielder Verónica Boquete in the trade with the Western New York Flash on Monday.

PORTLAND — The Portland Thorns FC made a significant trade and announced its initial regular-season roster on Monday.

Vancouver native Kat Tarr was not on the roster Monday, but is expected to be added to the roster this week.

Portland acquired Spanish midfielder Verónica Boquete, who in 2011 was the Women’s Professional Soccer Player of the Year while playing for Philadelphia.

In the trade with the Western New York Flash, the Thorns received Boquete and midfielder Sarah Huffman in exchange for midfielder Courtney Wetzel, defender Kathryn Williamson and Portland’s first-round pick in the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft.

The Thorns, the defending champions, open the second NWSL season at 5 p.m. Saturday in Houston against the expansion Dash.

Portland’s roster is led by the mainstays from 2013, including star forwards Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair and defender Rachel (Buehler) Van Hollebeke.

The Thorns have two new goalkeepers. Germany’s Nadine Angerer, the 2013 FIFA women’s player of the year, and Michelle Betos who last season started seven games as Hope Solo’s backup in Seattle.

There are only four defenders on the roster unveiled Monday, but first-year Thorns coach Paul Riley said that this week the Thorns plan to add Tarr and Courtney Niemiec.

Tarr is a 2005 graduate of Columbia River High School who played college soccer at Missouri from 2005-2008. Professionally, Tarr spent three years in the top German women’s soccer league. She was with the Thorns throughout preseason as a trialist.

Another Vancouver native, Tina Ellertson, decided not to play for the Thorns this season in order to focus on her coaching career. She was with Portland for its playoff run last season, and was on the field at the end of the championship match.

Van Hollebeke and Nikki Marshall are the only two defenders back from last season. In midfield, Meleana Shim, Allie Long and Angie Kerr are back. Among the new midfielders are Amber Brooks, who has played key roles for U.S. national teams at the under-17, U-20 and U-23 levels.

In addition to Sinclair and Morgan — who is still sidelined by an ankle injury — the Thorns forwards include Mexico National Team member Jackie Acevedo and Jessica McDonald who had three goals and two assists in 16 games for Seattle last season.

Thorns unveil uniforms — On Monday the Thorns unveiled their 2014 home and away uniforms. The home uniform is all red. The away jersey features a white top with black shorts and black socks.