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Portland Thorns make last-minute roster change before Challenge Cup

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 5:09 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland Thorns remain in second place in the their group for the Challenge Cup with only one game left. To increase their chances of winning, they added one more player to their roster.

The NWSL trade deadline ends Thursday and the Thorns made their move quick. They’ve added Olympic gold medalist Janine Beckie, who has made her way back to her homeland.

“It’s nice to be home. I’m short two-hour flight from my family which is something that hasn’t been a reality in a really long time for me. So, I’m really excited about that if I had a great time in Europe it was great to experience a different culture but I’m really excited to be back in and kind of be coming home a little bit,” says Janine Beckie, Forward.

The Thorns struck a 3-way deal. They snagged Beckie’s rights from Racing Louisville FC for $75,000 in allocation money and signed her to a 3-year contract and a 1-year option from Manchester City.

“My time organically in England just kind of came to an end and I was ready for a change. This just seemed like a perfect situation for me. I think it fits where I’m at in my career I’ve always wanted to come back to the league,” says Beckie.

Head Rhian Wilkinson says Beckie is an adaptable player who will bring speed and finishing ability to the front line.

“There’s a few different positions. Obviously, my preference is to be closer to the goal and being able to influence attacks but at the end of the today I think my versatility is one of my best aspects so wherever she asks me if I am happy to do my best in that position.”

The Colorado native, says playing in the Rose City is a dream come true. Portland is a place she feels valued and loved, hopefully by the team and the fans.

“It’s a top, top club. I think it stacks up against the best in the world definitely. In my opinion, the best in the NWSL. A great foundation from the beginning of when the league started until now. It’s an attractive place to play a in front of 18 to 20 thousand fans.”

Beckie won a gold medal for the Canada National Team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the bronze in 2016. In her four years with Manchester City, Beckie put away 21 goals, won two FA cup titles and two League Cup titles.

Beckie says consistency is still a struggle but is ready to put in the work.

“I have full expectation that I need to come here and perform at the top of my game in order to help the team win a trophy,” says Beckie.

The Thorns will head down to Los Angeles to face Angel City FC before the semi-finals begin. Kickoff is Sunday at 6 PM.