Thorns arrive in Washington D.C. ahead of NWSL Championship

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 7:37 PM PDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2022 at 10:15 AM PDT
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WASHINGTON D.C. (KPTV) - The Portland Thorns are two days away from the NWSL as they face off with the Kansas City Current.

Wednesday was media day where FOX 12 got to check in with the players. Part of media day was handing out some hardware. The NWSL gave awards to the 2022 Best 11 First team and Second team. The award recognizes the best 22 players in the league. On the second team, was defender, Becky Sauerbrunn and Kelli Hubly. Sam Coffey and Sophia Smith were named on the First team.

Smith was also named the 2022 NWSL MVP racking up 14 goals and three assists on the season.

“I would not be getting this award if I didn’t have the best team in the world,” says the USA Team soccer star. “I was excited about it and honored. To win it, it’s like a dream come true, it’s really surreal honestly.”

The Colorado native was the number one pick in the 2020 draft and is the youngest to ever receive the accolade at the age of 22.

“I’m used to being young, but I feel like it’s helped me you know develop because now I am the young player in this league, but I don’t feel like it,” says Smith. “There’s always more to learn, there’s always room to grow. For me, that’s the most exciting thing, is I can keep getting better and this is just the beginning.”

Wednesday was also their first practice, which entailed a much lighter workout.

We had a harder session yesterday then we flew, lighter session today, and then will obviously have a little bit of a harder session tomorrow as we prepare for the game,” says Rhian Wilkinson, Head Coach.

“The teams in a great place. Training today was very relaxed, kind of like an on-field recovery session for us after traveling but the vibes good,” says Forward, Christine Sinclair.

Portland Thorns vs Kansas City Current, Saturday, Oct. 29, 5 p.m. PST.

Portland area bars will be hosting watch parties for the match. Participating pubs include:

  • Grand Central Bowling, 808 SE Morrison St.
  • Hopworks, 2944 SE Powell Blvd.
  • Mad Greek Deli, 1740 E Burnside St.
  • Prost!, 4237 N Mississippi Ave.
  • The Hostel Café, 1810 NW Glisan St.
  • The Sports Bra, 2512 NE Broadway